SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KTVU) - Facebook has signed a "mega" lease in Sunnyvale for more than a million square feet of office space in a city where the social website has never had a major presence.
The lease marks the biggest Bay Area land deal this year. Sunnyvale has become a big magnet for the many tech firms with a serious presence there.
At the vast Moffett Towers complex, Facebook has leased three of the five massive buildings in what's called Moffett 2. Facebook's space is the equivalent of 21 football fields. The CEO of Sunnyvale's Chamber of Commerce, says Facebook's expansion into Sunnyvale, as well as so many other marquee companies, is largely due to city government, not in spite of it.
"The biggest one is that we have a one-stop planning department. So, we get businesses in faster than anyone else can get them in and [we] facilitate those businesses whether they're corporations or small businesses," said the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce's Don Eagleston.
To underscore that point, Amazon leased the other two buildings in the Miffed Towers on the Moffett complex. The almost 700,000 square feet complex that’s still under construction is all sold out of space.
And while Amazon is present, Facebook is the big tenant. "It's expanding by acquisition. Occlus, for example, is the virtual reality company. They've acquired WhatsApp, they've got Messenger App and they've got Instagram. They've really got a lot going on beyond just the regular Facebook that most people are familiar with," says veteran tech Analyst, journalist and commentator Larry Magid.
The 106-year-old city started out as a farming community. Today, it's a booming city of over 150,000 people – the Bay Area's fifth largest. "[It’s] a fantastic place for businesses to want to work,” said Mayor Glenn Hendricks. “There are over eight thousand businesses here and over a hundred thousand employees.”
Sunnyvale is close to the airport and all of Silicon Valley's enormous talent pool. Another huge advantage: the city allows tall towers to be constructed, something many Silicon Valley communities won't, including Palo Alto and Menlo Park. That leaves a lot more room for future growth while leaving the community livable.
"We're unlike some of the other cities where the corporations, businesses and homes are co-mingled. Ours are fairly separate," said Chamber of Commerce CEO Eagleston. "We've designed that for businesses to go ahead and be there and not have it right in the middle of where our residential communities are.”
To further cement its commitment to the Bay Area, Facebook just signed the largest commercial lease ever in San Francisco for the entire 756,000 square foot Park Tower.