Facebook to move headquarters

Facebook will move its headquarters from Stanford Research Park to the former Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park by 2013. New housing units will soon take over the social media giant’s current space.

The current Facebook headquarters is located at 1601 California Avenue in Palo Alto.

Since establishing its headquarters there in 2009, Facebook has known it would need to move again by 2013. In an agreement negotiated in 2005 between Stanford and the city of Palo Alto, the University agreed to transform Facebook’s portion of the research park into housing units, according to Tiffany Griego, director of asset management at Stanford Research Park.

Because of this agreement, Facebook’s lease will only last for two more years. The company, in fact, has been preparing for its move to a new site for some time. With a 15-year lease and a provision to purchase the land after five years, the new Menlo Park headquarters has approximately 1,000,000 square feet of office space. This will provide enough room to house more than one and a half times Facebook’s global staff, which currently exceeds 2,000 employees.

“They have been strategizing their relocation for some time in order to ensure their new campus could accommodate their aggressive growth projections,” Griego wrote in an e-mail to The Daily. “The Menlo Park campus is of significant size, and unfortunately, we didn’t have a campus of this size in the research park to lease to Facebook.”

Although the networking giant’s staff has not begun the transition yet, the first wave should begin moving to Menlo Park at the beginning of summer. Facebook projects that renovations will be completed then. It plans to maintain its offices in Palo Alto until 2013, when the transition will be fully completed.

In addition to leasing the 57-acre Sun Microsystems campus, Facebook has also purchased 22 acres of land across the street from the campus. This property is connected to the Sun Microsystems campus via an underground tunnel and includes two buildings. There are currently no plans to move employees there, but the additional land allows for potential long-term growth.

As Facebook prepares to depart from the Stanford Research Park, the University faces a deadline to submit plans to the city for its housing development.

“We expect to raze the commercial buildings and begin construction on the housing in 2014,” Griego wrote.

While the housing development will make less land available for commercial lease at Stanford Research Park, there will still be a number of sites available.

Companies–Tesla, Hewlett Packard, Lockheed Martin and Skype being a few of them–currently rent space at Stanford Research Park, and the majority of the facility will still be home to entrepreneurs and innovators after Facebook departs.

Facebook’s headquarters aren’t moving very far. Griego expects the ties established between the University and the company, notably between students and the website, to remain the same.

“We continue to have an extremely positive relationship with Facebook,” Griego said. “They have been an excellent, professional, responsible and exciting tenant.”

Facebook did not return interview requests by The Daily.

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