A pedestrian plaza runs between a parking garage and repurposed Amgen buildings in Interbay.
A pedestrian plaza runs between a parking garage and repurposed Amgen buildings in Interbay.
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Expedia Group will begin moving hundreds of employees over to its new 40-acre Interbay campus in early October, with a goal of having its entire workforce of 4,500 transitioned from the Eastside by early 2020.

Queen Anne News took a tour of the new campus — formerly home to biotech company Amgen — with head of communications Josh deBerge on Sept. 10. Expedia acquired the property along the Elliott Bay waterfront for $229 million in 2015.

Three nearly identical Amgen buildings and a longer one on the east end of the site have been adapted and repurposed, with skybridge connections tying them all together. A new crescent-shaped office building, overlooking a new water feature, is expected to be completed next year. Glass exteriors on all of the buildings provide views of the waterfront, an upgraded section of the Elliott Bay Trail and healthy landscaping around and between them. Roughly 1,000 trees are being added to the campus, deBerge said, which includes a portion of the trail Expedia Group recently improved.

Interior murals will be going up in the buildings over the next several weeks.

The new office building will include an atrium and market hall. Expedia Group will have its own executive chef on site. The travel technology company has partnered with Bon Appétit Management Company for its food services. Until the new building opens, a mobile kitchen and food trucks will serve employees. Each office floor has a “social point,” deBerge said, where employees can chat and take advantage of free snack and beverage programs.

A pedestrian plaza runs between an existing parking garage and the repurposed Amgen buildings, and doubles as a fire lane.

The reopening of the renovated half-mile Elliott Bay Trail path along the new Expedia campus on Sept. 7 provides walkers and cyclists the option of looking out at the water or observing the ongoing construction.

Expedia listened to the city and separated the bike and pedestrian paths, deBerge said, and made the stretch of trail more curved. Native plantings and bioswales were added, as well as terraced seating topped with grass at each level.

Another new building, meant to double as a meeting and social gathering space, is being constructed adjacent to the trail. It’s called The Prow, the name reflecting its boat-shaped design.

“It feels like it’s miles away, but it’s right here on campus,” deBerge said. “It actually emerges from the Great Lawn.”

Between the existing garage, which was renovated, and a new garage on the north side of the campus, there are 2,300 parking spaces. A bike storage area can accommodate roughly 400 bikes, and includes a workshop area and 40 e-bike charging plugins.

“We think it’s the largest bike storage in the city for a corporation,” deBerge said.

Expedia will operate four shuttles that will take employees between the Eastside and Interbay campus, and another will operate downtown, Berge said. The company has been testing the shuttle service on the Eastside for the past few years.

“We’ve been planning for the move from a commute perspective for the last 4-5 years,” deBerge said.

In that time Expedia has seen its single-occupancy vehicle rate drop from more than 50 percent to 37 percent, he said.

Shuttles will access the new campus via a hub on the east side of the railroad tracks, and employees will cross using the Helix Bridge, which deBerge said is now being called the Bridge at Expedia Group.

King County Metro is also adding new stops in front of the bridge on Sept. 20 for the following routes: 15X, 17X and 18X. The campus is currently served by the RapidRide D line and routes 19, 24 and 33.

deBerge said Expedia Group is also offering free parking for carpools, completely subsidizing van pools, participating in Scoop rideshares, and offering employees free ORCA cards. When the campus opens, deBerge said, Expedia will offer a Commute Cash program to incentivize using transportation methods other than single-occupancy vehicles. Employees can receive $5 for every day they take eligible modes of transportation.

Expedia Group is also pledging up to $3 million in matching funds to renovate Pier 86 in Centennial Park, along the Elliott Bay Trail. deBerge confirmed there is some consideration about eventually having a water taxi there as another transit option, but so far Expedia Group has not made a firm commitment.

Expedia Group will initially move around 200 employees to its new campus from an existing office space on Elliott Avenue West on Oct. 7, and then add more employees every few weeks, deBerge said.

The new campus provides room for the travel company to grow, he said, but the move does not mean a lot of mass hiring will now take place.

Contractor GLY will work with Expedia Group to ensure worker safety as construction continues on the new office building, which should be finished by spring 2020.