Microsoft announced Thursday that it will lease 561,000 square feet, 25 of 26 floors, at the City Center Plaza office building nearing completion at Northeast Sixth Street and 110th Avenue Northeast, across from City Hall.
Microsoft's move into City Center Plaza adds to the software giant's growing presence in Bellevue, with the company already leasing 317,000 square feet at Lincoln Square and two entire towers at The Bravern, a mixed-use project at Northeast Eighth Street between 110th and 112th avenues set for completion next year.
More than 2,000 Microsoft employees will start working in the new Advanta Office Commons in Eastgate in June.
Microsoft's announcement comes shortly after Washington CEO magazine named Bellevue "City of the Year" in its May issue.
The magazine cited the city for policies and tax structure that have encouraged growth downtown while also protecting and nurturing thriving neighborhoods and parks throughout Bellevue.
In March, Fortune Small Business magazine named Bellevue the top city in the country to live and launch a business.
Downtown employment is expected to grow by about 40 percent, from 33,000 to 48,000, between 2006 and 2010, with Microsoft employees accounting for about half of that growth. Microsoft will be Bellevue's largest employer, with 7,500 workers, followed by T-Mobile with 3,200 and The Boeing Co. with 2,800.
Additionally, the number of households or people living in downtown is expected to grow by 50 percent in that same time period.
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