What's the deal with the house in front of Microsoft's RedWest campus?

Raymond Chen

What’s the deal with the house in front of Microsoft’s RedWest campus? Here is my understanding. It may be incomplete or even flat-out wrong. The house belongs to a couple who was unwilling to sell their property when Microsoft’s real estate people were buying up the land on which to build the RedWest campus. (I’m told it was originally a chicken farm.) Eventually, a deal was struck: The couple would sell the property to Microsoft but retain the right to live there until the end of their natural lives. Furthermore, Microsoft would assume responsibility for maintaining the lawn and landscaping. When Microsoft needed to build an underground parking garage beneath their property, the house was put on a truck, carried across the street, where it rested for the duration of the construction, after which it was returned to its original location. I imagine the couple was put up in a very nice hotel for the duration of the construction. (Heck, maybe they got a nice kitchen remodel out of the deal, who knows?) And while I’m spreading rumors about the Microsoft RedWest campus, here’s another one: If you pay a visit to the campus, you will find a nature trail that leads through the wetlands that adjoin the campus. I was told that the wetlands preservation area was part of the environmental impact mitigation plan that was necessary to obtain approval for the construction. The students at the nearby school will occasionally take field trips there.

(I’m going to cover lighter issues for a while just to take a break from the network interoperability topic that has raged for over a week now.)


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