By Meghan Hall
More than 15 years after buying its Redmond office campus, Microsoft has snapped up the final piece of the original property that it did not yet not own. In a deal that closed just today on June 3rd, the tech firm purchased the Columbia Building for $15.35 million, or about $216.20 per square foot. According to public property documents, the seller of the building was General America Corp., affiliated with Liberty Mutual.
The property, located at 15319 NE 45 St., is a Liberty Mutual Data Center, according to its website. King County records show that the building, constructed in 2000, totals an even 71,000 square feet.
In 2006, Microsoft and Safeco Corp., a subsidiary of General America, reached an agreement in which Microsoft would purchase the surrounding 40-acre Redmond campus for $209.5 million. To date, the campus now includes Microsoft Buildings 50, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88 and a parking garage. Microsoft Commons, as well as the Microsoft Visitor Center, are located just a few minutes away across State Route 520.
In 2017, Microsoft announced a multi-year campus modernization project in an effort to create new office space, public amenities and infrastructure. The project will span 72 acres, will include 17 new buildings, replacing 14 original structures, ranging from 180,000 to 220,000 square feet. Along 156th Ave. NE will be a gateway for public transit, to be completed in agreement with Sound Transit, including the future light rail station and access to a pedestrian and cyclist-only bridge over State Route 520, which will connect the campus. A 2-acre open plaza is also part of the plans, and can fit events up to 6,000 people. The first buildings will come online in late 2022 or early 2023.
The project team includes architecture firms LMN, NBBJ, WRNS Studio and ZGF Architects; general contractors Skanska, Balfour Beatty, GLY and Sellen; landscape architects Berger Partnership with OLIN. CBRE, JLL and OAC Services Inc. are in charge of project management.
As of October 2019, Microsoft owns 520 acres of land and 104 buildings—owned and leased—across the Puget Sound region. 14.4 million square feet of office space and labs are located in King County.
“We look forward to continuing this journey to modernize Microsoft’s workplaces,” the company states on its website in a fall 2019 project update. “When completed, the project will provide additional proximity for teams who collaborate and an inspiring, healthy and sustainably responsible workplace where our employees can do their best work and grow their careers.”