Expedia is getting closer to moving into its prized Seattle waterfront campus, and the financial details of the massive project are coming into clearer view.
The price tag for the entire project, which will see Expedia renovate old lab buildings already there and build new structures, now sits around $900 million, CEO Mark Okerstrom said in a call with investors Thursday. The company spent $190 million on the project in 2018 and has budgeted another $425 million to $475 million for headquarters work in 2019, according to an annual 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Friday.
In 2016 and 2017, the company spent a combined $100 million on the project, and in 2020, Expedia plans to spend another $135 to $185 million, according to the filing.
Expedia first announced plans to move from Bellevue to Seattle in 2015, paying biotech giant Amgen $229 million for the waterfront campus on Elliott Bay. Expedia employees will move into the renovated Amgen buildings toward the end of the year, and the company has plans for greater expansion of the campus down the line.
Expedia got the OK from the city in 2017 for a Major Phased Development permit, which entitles the land for 15 years and allows development of up to 1.9 million square feet of office. That gives the travel giant a longer period of time than normal permits would allow to decide how to build out its Seattle campus.
Expedia plans to start construction this year on a new 600,000-square-foot building that will open in 2020, as well as a sweeping landscaping plan. Expedia has said the new campus will feature “biophilic design,” which involves connecting people and nature to increase physical and mental well-being through views of the water, mountains and open office spaces with plenty of natural light.
The 40-acre campus will include several acres of outdoor spaces including playing fields, meeting spaces and an amphitheater that will have WiFi and enhanced mobile data. When the campus opens later this year, it will have room for 5,000 people, giving Expedia some immediate growth potential beyond its current 4,500-person workforce.
The timing and scale of the campus has been a moving target over the last four years, and so has the price tag. At one point, Expedia put the price tag around $1 billion to $1.2 billion. In mid 2016, Okerstrom, then the CFO, detailed a plan to potentially scale back the initial build out and cut costs by as much as half.
Expedia declined to comment on the internal planning around the scope of the project and price tag for the work.
Though Expedia is moving the bulk of its workforce to Seattle, it isn’t leaving its hometown of Bellevue, Wash., entirely. The company previously confirmed plans to hold onto some office space at a building called Skyline Tower in Bellevue that will be available for employees to book for a certain amount of days per month.
When Expedia moves out of its Bellevue high rise, Amazon will step in. Amazon signed a 16-year lease for more than 400,000 square feet in the Expedia Tower building, with room for about 2,500 people. The deal takes effect in 2020 and includes all the office space in the building.