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ISSAQUAH, WA-Microsoft began taking down its Issaquah Highlands property this week, closing on the first 37.5 acres of 150 acres it has optioned for a campus that could hold 2.95 million sf of office space. The sale price was $25.25 million, according to a copy of the deed of sale.

A spokesman for Microsoft says site grading will begin this summer, “but we’re still pretty far out on the timing of the project.” Greg Laycock, a broker with the Seattle office of Cushman & Wakefield and the man with a copy of the deed of sale, says the City of Issaquah issued Microsoft’s grading permits in the middle of last week.

“This campus will have a significant impact on both the single-family and multi-family real estate market in Issaquah and the I-90 corridor,” says Laycock, a specialist in the apartment market.

Citing a study conducted for Microsoft by Dick Conway of the firm of Conway Peterson, Laycock says the development will have an employment-multiplier effect on the local economy of four, meaning that for every Microsoft job created at the campus, three more would be created in the local economy.

Assuming the maximum 2.95-million sf is developed and that houses 12,000 employees based on the general rule of 250 sf per person, the multiplier means 48,000 new jobs are headed for Issaquah.

With Puget Sound residents looking to avoid now-typical traffic snarls, Laycock anticipates many of those 48,000 will be looking to live in Issaquah and the immediate area along Interstate-90. However, the C&W broker notes that word on the street is that completion of the new Microsoft campus will run a course of five to seven years.

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