When it was time to relocate Expedia’s nearly 1700 employees to new headquarters, Seneca Group was retained to manage the process from beginning to end. Seneca worked with Expedia and their brokerage team through the site selection process, managed the design and construction and coordinated the move to the new facilities.
During the site selection phase, Seneca Group provided complimentary services to the brokerage team. Seneca Group’s in-depth understanding of development costs for a wide variety of sites was critical to this phase. Working closely with the Expedia team, Seneca Group prepared highly detailed development cost models for each of the options, including design and construction budgets as well as all costs associated with relocation. The result enabled Expedia to compare the total cost of each option across the entire period of their proposed tenancy.
Ultimately, Expedia chose to relocate their headquarters to a newly constructed, 20-story high rise in downtown Bellevue, Washington. Occupying nearly 350,000 square feet over 15 floors, Expedia became the flagship tenant in one of the first buildings in the city to achieve LEED® Gold certification for Shell and Core. Seneca Group continued to support the client and the brokerage team throughout the lease negotiations while simultaneously assembling the team to design and deliver the space.
Once the lease was completed, Seneca transitioned fully into the role of project manager. One key aspect that made this transition seamless was the extent to which Expedia’s requirements, budget and schedule had been defined. In fact, the models Seneca developed for the cost of the project were effectively locked in and became the approved budget.
Among the key project challenges were the relocation of a large group of employees over a short period and transitioning from a 100% private office configuration. Under a tight schedule, Seneca Group supported Expedia with internal consensus-building and decision-making, while keeping the project on track and the transition smooth. Under Seneca’s direction, 1,632 employees were successfully relocated in three major moves spanning 6 weekends.
Despite an aggressive project schedule and numerous moving parts, Seneca Group’s rigor in cost reporting and budgeting process, ability to manage design expectations while still meeting the program, and unparalleled management of communications with the project team, kept the project on schedule and 10% below overall budget.