Facebook moves into Sun's old digs, Google expands into LA

Both Facebook and Google announced expansion plans on Tuesday, with the social networking site moving into the former headquarters of Sun Microsystems, and the search engine opening new offices near Los Angeles. The moves likely indicate the tech sector is poised for a recovery as the economy as a whole rebounds.

Few companies have been as resistant to the economic downturn as Facebook. Just two years ago, the company moved to its current headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. But with a workforce increasing at a 50% annual rate, moving to Sun's nine-building campus in nearby Menlo Park makes sense.

The social networking site has a 15-year lease on the property, with an option to buy after five years. In addition, Facebook purchased 22 acres of land adjacent to the campus that could be used for expansion. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and Menlo Park officials did not offer any tax incentives to the social networking site to entice it to make the move.

Following its acquisition of Sun, Oracle began moving most employees to its Redwood Shores campus. While a few Sun employees still remain, they will likely also be moved out once Facebook takes over the location in the early summer. The social networking site also plans to still use its Palo Alto location to house some employees, it said.

Its Menlo Park location would be able to house about 3,600 employees.

Google also is making moves, announcing Tuesday it would lease an iconic building in Venice, Calif. as part of its expansion into the city of Los Angeles. The search engine is planning to add about 6,000 employees this year, and is facing increasing competition for talent in Silicon Valley.

The "binoculars building" -- designed by architect Frank Gehry and former home of the Chiat/Day advertising agency -- would be the flagship building of Google's Los Angeles campus.

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