Facebook said today that it is moving from its Palo Alto headquarters, which sits at the quiet edge of a residential block just a short distance from Stanford University, to the former Sun Microsystems campus in nearby Menlo Park, a sprawling region that's best known for traffic congestion than it is for park-like settings.
While CEO Mark Zuckerberg will likely no longer be walking through the neighborhoods from his Palo Alto home to the campus, the move is a strategically sound one because it not only keeps Facebook employees in a central location but also comes with additional space that gives the company the opportunity to grow even more.
The former Sun campus occupies 57 acres and contains 9 buildings, which totals about 1 million square feet. The company said it also purchased an adjacent 22-acre tract that's connected to the campus by a tunnel that runs underneath the Bayfront Expressway, a busy thoroughfare that connects nearby Highway 101 with the Dumbarton Bridge.
While the move keeps Facebook in "Silicon Valley," which is a very loosely defined geographical region, it does take the company out of Santa Clara County - considered to be synonymous with Silicon Valley - and puts it into adjacent San Mateo County, which means that the tax dollars of the one of the Internet's biggest companies will shift, too.
The company, which currently has about 1,400 of its more than 2,000 employees based in Palo Alto, will start moving this summer, with some employees staying in the current location possibly into 2012.