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Originally published July 3, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified July 3, 2007 at 6:16 PM

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Microsoft buys 28-acre parcel from Nintendo

Nintendo of America is feeding a large chunk of land in Redmond to Microsoft, which seems to have a nearly insatiable appetite for office...

Seattle Times technology reporter

Nintendo of America is feeding a large chunk of land in Redmond to Microsoft, which seems to have a nearly insatiable appetite for office and parking spaces lately.

The unused, 28-acre parcel sits between Nintendo's North American headquarters and Microsoft's RedWest campus, which houses its MSN online unit.

In a brief statement today announcing the sale to Microsoft, Nintendo was quick to note that disposing of the land has "no connection with the company's recent relocation of its sales and marketing division to Silicon Valley and Manhattan."

The company's headquarters will remain in Redmond. In fact, Nintendo is planning to grow its employment in Washington, which currently stands at about 1,000 people, in areas including testing and distribution, according to the statement. The property is north of Northeast 51st Street and west of Highway 520 and provides "a natural fit" with Microsoft's RedWest campus, said Microsoft spokesman Lou Gellos.

Microsoft's long-term plans for the property are unclear. Gellos said it could provide office space for about 2,000 people. But the company is focused now on the three-year, $1.3 billion campus expansion currently under way on both sides of Highway 520. The project will grow the Redmond campus by about a third.

This acquisition was not contemplated as part of that expansion, "but it certainly has that potential," Gellos added.

In the short-term, the 300-space lot on the property will help ease the over-crowded parking situation at RedWest.

A short distance south, Microsoft is building an underground parking garage to hold 5,000 vehicles.

Neither company disclosed the sales price. The property was assessed for 2008 at more than $26.5 million, according to King County records. Nintendo bought the property in 1987 for $601,277.

The transaction is set to close in mid-July.

Benjamin J. Romano: bromano@seattletimes.com

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