Facebook looks for new home

Oracle campus a possibility, but not yet vacant

Social networking behemoth Facebook is hoping to connect with larger digs, and Menlo Park's Oracle campus is one of several sites under consideration. However, contrary to news reports, an afternoon tour showed that the 2.5-million-square-foot Willow Road campus is not yet vacant.

Facebook remains mum about its interest in the campus despite a Daily Post story on Nov. 30 that broke the news.

Dave Johnson, manager of the city's business development department, referred all inquiries to Facebook, after sharing this statement:

"Facebook is exploring options for a long-term location to fit its growing business needs. They are in the due diligence phase on potential sites, but it would be premature to offer any specifics. They hope to have more to share in the near future once things have been finalized."

Facebook corporate communications director Larry Yu confirmed there's not much to report. "Generally we're looking for a site that can accommodate our growth over the long term," he said.

Mayor Rich Cline suggested not taking the rumors too seriously. "Any rumor about Facebook -- given the nature of Silicon Valley -- is only a rumor until someone actually signs a deal. Facebook, Google and Yahoo! are probably the center of the most rumors in business," he said.

Oracle bought Sun Microsystems in January for $7.4 billion. The San Mateo County Assessor's office decided three months ago that the sale required a reassessment of the property.

Reassessment of the campus, now assessed at $355.4 million, could boost or decrease property tax revenues for Menlo Park, but that won't be known for certain until the process is completed by June 2011.

However, any increase won't replenish the city's general fund since the campus lies within redevelopment agency boundaries, according to city staff. Any increased property tax would funnel back only into redevelopment projects.

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Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 1, 2010 at 10:17 am

Hopefully city council and staff are trying to make this move happen.
The new Bohannon hotel would seem to be a good match.

Like this comment
Posted by Mayor Bosco
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Dec 1, 2010 at 12:47 pm

City staff and council comments are irrelevant, if not a risk, to Facebook's decision. Staff and council are just not players in this game. Facebook going public while in the Sun Campus would be a boon for the Porsche dealership and Redwood City. Menlo Park would probably see more traffic tickets.

Facebook is really looking at the empty high rise buildings at Redwood Shores. Great views of the Bay, and cheaper than Menlo Park.

Facebook's revenue is based on advertising, which isn't taxable. They might however induce a lot of business-to-business sales tax as they buy pens and paper.

There would be some cache to having Facebook here, which might interest other firms to also locate here.

Like this comment
Posted by show me the money
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 1, 2010 at 9:42 pm

With it's budget problems, all Menlo Park needs is more big name companies that generate virtually no sales tax revenue to the city coffers. The Council's decision to support Bohannon's ability to fill the mammoth new office towers with professionals has been followed by Tyco wanting some of the same changes, and now SUN/Oracle might be displaced with another type of services company. The best way out of budget problems is to control costs and to increase revenue but Facebook won't help!

Like this comment
Posted by Make a deal
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 1, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Even though Facebook wouldn't bring sales tax revenue, I agree it would bring cache and spur B2B secondary sales tax. But that is not enough. THe City needs to make a deal that yields some revenues for the redevelopment district even if they won't fully replace the Sun Micro revenues over the past 20 years. And we will want to connect all those employees with our CIty through excellent and frequent shuttles, though I expect all those 20 somethings working for them near downtown PA will also want to get to those haunts for lunch etc too, so we will want to get them to fund serious trip reduction to reduce the traffic impacts.

If we can make a good deal, it's more important to fill this aging campus and encourage Facebook to upgrade it so we get good property taxes and some sort of kicker too. Hey - what about allowing us to participate as friends and family in their likely upcoming IPO? That could wipe out the City budget problems in short order!

Just think...

Like this comment
Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on Dec 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

Why in Gods name would Facebook want to come to Menlo Park. Zuckerberg would have to be crazy to come here. The Sun Microsystems site may not yet be vacant, but it soon will be.....And then all the anti-business, lets keep our city small, "voices" will be happy.......

Its a different world people.... get used to it.....Anyone expecting its going to be turned into a massive Walmart generating sales tax?

Come on, wake up for Gods sake before you destroy this place forever.

Like this comment
Posted by show me the money
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 3, 2010 at 10:42 am

Menlo Park needs revenue. Property tax revenue is not the answer. Its growth is minimal due to Prop 13. Business to business sales tax is the best. From thriving businesses, this can exceed most retail sales tax. A big problem in Menlo Park is that businesses have been driven out by professional offices and services that pay more rent to the landlord but next to none in revenue to the city.

Like this comment
Posted by alice
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Social netwoking is a social disease!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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