Microsoft to expand Fargo operations

A proposed new building is just the first step in plans to enlarge the North Dakota facility to one day hold as many as 3,800 workers.

Microsoft said Tuesday it plans to expand its operations in Fargo, N.D., adding a third building there to house an additional 575 workers.

The software maker said it is just the first step of a planned expansion that will one day allow Microsoft to have as many as 3,800 workers at that facility. It currently has nearly 1,300 workers in Fargo, including 956 full-time employees and 337 contractors and temporary workers.

Microsoft kicked off its Fargo operations with its purchase of Great Plains Software, completed in 2001, though it now houses workers in other divisions as well.

"The Microsoft Fargo location has significantly expanded its charter over the past several years, and today the campus is home to teams from across the company," Microsoft Business Division President Jeff Raikes said in a statement. "The expansion we are announcing today is very exciting and will help position us to keep pace with our growth and the changing needs of our business."

In addition to building the new 120,000-square-foot building in Fargo, Microsoft said it will tack on 65,000 square feet to an existing building.

Last month, Microsoft said it was leasing 1.3 million square feet in two office towers under construction in Bellevue, Wash., a Seattle suburb near Microsoft's main campus in Redmond. Microsoft said that space could eventually house 4,000 people.

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