Microsoft plans to contain most or all of its future expansion at its Redmond campus, partly because local government regulations have discouraged the company from developing other properties, a spokesman said.
Buck Ferguson, senior director of investor relations and administration, told real estate professionals yesterday to work with county and city officials to build cooperative relationships. Microsoft has stumbled several times over development obstacles set up by the city of Bellevue, he said, declining to discuss specifics.
"People should let Bellevue know that they're driving taxpaying businesses out of Bellevue," Ferguson told a crowd of nearly 600. The audience of landlords, investors, property managers and developers had gathered for the annual real estate forecast breakfast sponsored by the regional chapter of the national Institute of Real Estate Management.
Microsoft rents about 500,000 square feet of office space in Bellevue, the equivalent of roughly one half of a downtown high-rise.
At its 260-acre campus in Redmond, the company has built 1.7 million square feet of space, covering about 42 percent of the land. Ferguson predicted much more development but said the company likes to build on only 85 percent of what it's allowed under zoning laws because employees enjoy open space and trees.
The software giant is building one 80,000-square-foot building at its campus and plans to break ground next spring on one with 150,000 square feet.
Microsoft has an option to buy 35 acres north of its campus but does not plan to buy any land contiguous to the complex because it is already developed, Ferguson said.