Expedia is less than a year away from opening the doors of its massive new Seattle campus, and today it shared the latest designs for the project.
Set to open in fall 2019, the campus has room for 5,000 people, giving it some growth potential beyond its current 4,500-person workforce. Expedia says 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.
Expedia got the OK from the city last year 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, giving the travel giant a longer period of time than normal permits would allow to decide how to build out its Seattle campus.
Expedia first announced plans to move from Bellevue to Seattle in 2015, paying biotech giant Amgen $229 million for its prized waterfront campus on Elliott Bay. The first step in the process is renovating the old Amgen lab buildings, work that has been ongoing. Early next year, Expedia plans to start construction on a new building on campus as well as a sweeping landscaping plan.
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.
Expedia says the location is perfect for the travel focused company, with a cruise ship terminal nearby and flights drifting overheard. However, transportation could be a challenge at the site, so Expedia is offering several alternatives such as shuttle services from the Eastside and downtown transit hubs, rideshare options, new bike and walking paths and complimentary ORCA passes for employees.
Though Expedia is moving the bulk of its workforce to Seattle, it isn’t leaving its hometown of Bellevue, Wash., entirely. Last year the company confirmed plans to hold onto 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.