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A digital rendering of Microsoft's proposed campus.
A digital rendering of Microsoft’s proposed campus. (Rendering by Steelblue, via Microsoft/WRNS Studio.)

Microsoft has submitted a proposal with the city of Mountain View, Calif., to redevelop the company’s campus based there.

Qi Lu
Qi Lu

In an email to employees on Thursday, Qi Lu, a Microsoft executive vice president, said the company also plans to buy the 515,000-square-foot campus, which it currently leases. Some of the proposed features include modern work spaces, a subterranean parking lot and a soccer field.

“I am excited to announce our plan to further invest in the success of the Silicon Valley region,” Lu wrote. Silicon Valley Business Journal first reported the news.

The software giant, based in Redmond, Wash., first established a presence in the Valley in 1981. It now has more than 2,000 employees in the Bay Area, the company told GeekWire. The Mountain View construction is expected to start in 2017, and will take at least three years.

Microsoft made some cuts in its Silicon Valley operations in the fall of 2014, focusing on Microsoft Research, as part of the company’s broader cutbacks at the time. However, the Silicon Valley operation continues to be a center for research and development for a variety of Microsoft products.

It’s not a bad time to own a construction business in Northern California. Apple is also developing its new 2.8 million-square-foot Cupertino headquarters, dubbed by many as the Spaceship Campus.

Here’s the full text of the email to Microsoft employees.

Subject: Investing for the Future in Silicon Valley

Hi Everyone,

A little more than 15 years ago, we opened our Silicon Valley Campus in Mountain View, bringing together the innovation and energy of engineers from WebTV, Hotmail and PowerPoint, to name a few.  Over time, our development efforts have generated breakthrough products and technologies that have made key contributions to the success of Xbox, Office, Bing and more. We have nearly doubled our local presence since then and have opened offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale to accommodate our growth.

At my first MSV All Hands, I described this development center as a strategic hub for innovation and development. Today, I am excited to announce our plan to further invest in the success of the Silicon Valley region. Microsoft is acquiring the Mountain View Silicon Valley Campus to build a state of the art facility and create an exceptional place to work.

Real Estate and Facilities is currently working with Mountain View City Planners to gain approval of our redevelopment plans. Sustainability, collaboration, and health & wellness are at the center of the design, incorporating features such as team courtyards, easy access to the outdoors, an onsite gym, and LEED Platinum certification. Minimizing business disruption during the renovation is a priority and we will work with teams to plan and coordinate.

Today’s announcement marks the very beginning of a longer term process. There is no immediate impact to teams in the Bay Area, and we anticipate that construction will take at least three years to complete. The site leadership team and I will be holding an All Hands meeting in the Spring and we look forward to sharing more details on the plans as they develop.

Thanks.

-Qi

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