Follow us:

Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

September 7, 2007 at 11:11 AM

Microsoft still on lease for large space on Seattle waterfront

While Microsoft’s new presence in downtown Seattle got the headlines, the company ‘s name has been on the lease for a significant chunk of prime downtown property for years.

When the company acquired Visio in 1999, it also took over office space in World Trade Center East at 2211 Elliott Ave. Microsoft still owns the lease for about 184,000 square feet there, according to Greg Johnson, president of Wright Runstad, the building’s landlord.

After the Visio acquisition, “the gravitational force of Redmond just kept pulling people out of that office to the point where it was empty,” said Chris Owens, Microsoft general manager of worldwide real estate and facilities.

Microsoft sublet the space to another tenant and its remaining time on the lease is too short to move back.

“We have obligations to lease the space to people and then the lease will expire for us. … I think that’s the only choice there,” Owens said.

“It’s great space,” he added. “If we had another bite at that apple, I would have liked to have had it.”

Microsoft learned from its earlier experience with a downtown Seattle workforce.

“It informed us on how big a challenge it is to put a stake in the ground in Seattle when we have such an Eastside-centric population and business model,” Owens said. “We learned we have to take conscious efforts to manage that and we have to pick groups that are very willing occupants in Seattle … to make sure it’s sustainable, that they want to be here, that they’re not being forced to be here.”

Comments | More in Microsoft

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►