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Menlo Park mayor: No updates on Facebook office status

Mark Milian
Facebook, host to the world's largest social network, is outgrowing its idyllic Palo Alto, California, campus.
Facebook, host to the world's largest social network, is outgrowing its idyllic Palo Alto, California, campus.
  • Facebook is in talks to relocate its offices from Palo Alto, California, to Menlo Park
  • Facebook has scheduled a news conference at Menlo Park City Hall for Tuesday
  • Menlo Park's mayor says he doesn't know for sure whether Facebook is moving in

(CNN) -- Facebook is holding a news conference on Tuesday, where it is expected to announce that the company is moving operations to Menlo Park, California.

Perhaps no one is more excited to learn of Facebook's plans than the city's mayor.

Facebook has reportedly signed a deal with a real estate agency for employees to move into offices in Menlo Park. Facebook is outgrowing its current headquarters near Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

An invitation to a Facebook event next week, set to take place at Menlo Park City Hall, went out to reporters on Friday. Menlo Park Mayor Rich Cline received the same e-mail, with no further explanation.

"I have yet to hear them tell me they're moving here," Cline said in an interview Friday afternoon. "I don't have any documentation signed saying they're moving in here."

A Facebook spokesman told CNN that Tuesday's event set to take place in Menlo Park is "regarding a campus that will fit our long-term business needs."

Next week's announcement follows talks with city officials and real estate managers that have gone on for months. Discussions between Facebook and Menlo Park officials have been "extensive," Cline said.

The move would be a coup for Menlo Park over neighboring Palo Alto. But Cline said he did not try to aggressively appeal to Facebook's decision makers due to a Silicon Valley agreement discouraging attempts to poach high-profile businesses.

Whether Facebook will designate Menlo Park as its headquarters or will continue to keep core assets in Palo Alto is unknown.

"They'd love to stay in Palo Alto, and they've indicated that they plan to keep a presence in Palo Alto with a lot of their core engineering," said Pat Burt, a Palo Alto council member and former mayor. "We will miss whatever portion of them that we lose, which will be most of their growth, certainly."

Last summer, Facebook began expressing interest to Palo Alto officials in obtaining more office space there, Burt said. Failing that, the company had to look elsewhere.

The location in Menlo Park that Facebook is planning to move into is close to the former offices of technology giant Sun Microsystems, Cline said. Having a hip, affluent tenant could improve the economics in the area's nearby impoverished community and help spark a much-talked-about revival of that section, he said.

"We have the richest of the rich and some of the poorest in the same town," Cline said. "There's a lot of potential for that area to redevelop."

But Cline, who also runs a public relations agency, is tempering his expectations. He joked that Facebook could hold an event at his city hall, and say, "We brought everybody down to say ... we're staying in Palo Alto!"

"They've been very careful," Cline said. "Anything can happen in a four-day period."


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