Microsoft may have Apple HQ jealousy as it commits to Redmond refresh

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In total, the new campus will house the 47,000 employees who work at Microsoft's existing Redmond campus, and add capacity for 8,000 more.

Microsoft has announced plans to radically overhaul its existing campus in Redmond, Washington, and replace it with a bigger and more modern headquarters. Microsoft has been at the campus for 30 years; it now has 125 buildings there.

All cars will go to an underground parking facility so that the campus remains open for bikes and pedestrians.

"And while we transform our workspace inside, we will renovate the exterior to create more opportunities to exercise, play and connect with nature for the people who work at Microsoft and those who live nearby". The development will take between five and seven years to complete, and includes a 2-acre open plaza that 2,000 people can fit inside.

The company is pouring billions of dollars into this campus upgrade project and it will tear down 12 buildings in the process, replacing them with 18 bigger and more modern ones.

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Microsoft announced the plans for expansion via the Microsoft blog. We prize our relationship with the City of Redmond and will work closely with officials on the approval for campus and building architectural designs, engineering, building permit review and land use code compliance.

Microsoft's campus revamp is not the only effort to create an urban feel in the Seattle suburbs along the route of the new light rail line.

When Microsoft settled in to its headquarters in Redmond in 1986, its early buildings were built to emphasize personal working space and lots of windows.

"We want to create a campus that creates the best workplace we can envision for our employees, where they can be creative, where they can learn and collaborate with each other, where they can create technology that moves forward for our customers", explains Smith. The space will be divided into what it calls "team neighborhoods".

The company also secured a zoning change past year that allows it to construct some buildings on the east side of its campus up to 10 stories tall, but it said it has no plans for that height now.

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