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Menlo Park: Facebook to buy 59 acres next door to new campus

Facebook's domination of Menlo Park is not yet over: After the social media company moved into a new 57-acre headquarters off Willow Road, it announced plans to redevelop 22 acres within walking distance into a "west campus" off Constitution Drive designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. And now, it plans to buy an additional 59 acres right next door from TE Connectivity, as first reported by the Silicon Valley Business Journal on June 6.

"The adjacent property we've agreed to purchase is an investment in our future. We have no immediate plans to develop the property," a Facebook spokesperson told the Almanac.

TE Connectivity, an electronic components manufacturer based in Switzerland, currently has 600 employees and 10 buildings on its Menlo Park campus, located at 300 Constitution Drive. The campus was originally built in 1966 by Raychem.

Spokeswoman Jane Crawford said the agreement includes a multi-year lease back provision, although the company is looking at other locations, too, including within Menlo Park.

"TE has had deep roots in Silicon Valley for close to 50 years. Let me emphasize that this region is important to our future growth and is an innovation hub for TE Connectivity," she said in an email.

The company declined to release other terms of the sale.

News of the sale made Menlo Park Mayor Ray Mueller happy. For now, TE Connectivity's jobs will be staying in town, he said, but if the company leaves, "Facebook, an employer with a demonstrated commitment to working collaboratively with the city, who is invested in our residents' quality of life, who provides living-wage jobs, will be likely taking over the site."

He's optimistic that the sale will lead to a higher property tax increment for the site, and eventually yield other benefits for the city, such as attracting investors to the hotel portion of the nearby Bohannon Menlo Gateway complex. "I am eager to hear what Facebook has planned for the campus and very happy for Menlo Park residents, and for the region whose long-term future is strengthened a result of this deal," Mr. Mueller said.

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