There was a time when Microsoft was the inevitable occupant of virtually any available piece of commercial real estate in Redmond, Wash. — but not anymore.
Group Health Cooperative has sold its 28-acre Redmond campus, adjacent to Microsoft in the Overlake neighborhood, for $33 million to a group led by the Capstone Partners real estate investment firm. The project is expected to include more than 3 million square feet of space, including 1.1 million square feet of office and retail space, plus residential and hotel.
Demolition of the site expected to begin within weeks. Capstone hasn’t announced any prospective tenants for the project, and Microsoft isn’t commenting, but given the trends at the company, it would be a stretch to expect Microsoft to end up occupying the space. Microsoft’s employment growth has been much slower in recent years, following its cutbacks during the recession, and the company’s owned and leased space in King County (including Redmond and nearby Bellevue) has held steady at 15 million square feet.
The mixed-use development is described as one of the few “in-fill urban center developments” on the West Coast. Construction could begin within a year.
So who could end up occupying the space? One company that is growing steadily in the region is Google, thanks in part to its legions of former Microsoft employees. This would literally be in Microsoft’s backyard, and it would certainly be a bold move, but it’s a bit of a stretch, as well. We have a message in to Capstone for more details on prospective tenants.