Facebook to Announce Acquisition of New Headquarters on Feb. 8

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-02-04 Print this article Print

The world's largest social networking company is planning a media event Tuesday -- ostensibly to announce the purchase of a former Sun Microsystems campus on the San Francisco Bay.

Next Tuesday, Feb. 8, rapidly expanding Facebook apparently will announce that it has bought itself a new headquarters -- the former Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park, Calif., located on the shores of the San Francisco Bay.

The world's largest and busiest social networking company, which has not officially confirmed this, is planning a media event Tuesday morning at Menlo Park City Hall to make the announcement.

All a Facebook spokesperson would say on the record is that "the press event on Tuesday at Menlo Park City Hall is regarding a campus that will fit our long-term business needs."

Another public clue to all of this turned up in a Jan. 28 agenda item for a committee hearing on the Menlo Park city budget, which involved "finalizing land use entitlements for a new tenant at Sun campus."

Other Sources Confirm the Deal

Other local sources not affiliated with Facebook -- including one of the contractors who will be refurbishing the campus -- confirmed the acquisition to eWEEK, although due diligence in the transaction apparently is still being performed.

Two days after Christmas 2010, Facebook quietly acquired two neighboring properties to the former Sun campus, 312 and 314 Constitution Drive. San Mateo County property records indicate the land was bought by a shell company, Giant Properties LLC, which lists the address Facebook uses in Palo Alto.

The former Sun campus at 17 Network Circle -- at the intersection of Bayfront Expressway and Willow Road -- was built by Sun in the early 1990s and was the site of much of Sun's Java, server and mobile applications research and development. All of the company's marketing groups were located there, as well as an impressive executive conference center.

The site, a series of modern-looking multicolored office buildings that encircle a parklike central area, once situated more than 2,000 employees.

The location has been described as looking like a large movie studio or movie set, due to its colorful exterior.

Facebook's current headquarters is a former Hewlett-Packard building located a few blocks from the Stanford University campus in a residential neighborhood of Palo Alto. The company moved into that building in July 2009 from its former offices in downtown Palo Alto, where it had been for three years.

The city of Menlo Park, like so many other municipalities around the nation, certainly will welcome the addition of a multi-billion-dollar-earning company such as Facebook.

The city, located about 30 miles south of San Francisco, has suffered a major loss of property tax revenue during the last three years due to the slumping macroeconomy. A number of downtown businesses -- mostly automobile sales and other retail businesses -- have been forced to close their doors since 2008.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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