Facebook buys an unused headquarters even as more employees work remotely

REI announced in August that it had decided to sell the 400,000-square-foot campus complex in Bellevue, Washington, which it plans to move into this summer. On Monday, it revealed that it had reached a deal to sell the property for $ 390 million. The social networking site Facebook (FB) It buys the buildings and most of the land for $ 367.6 million, while the site developer buys an undeveloped 2-acre portion of the property for the remainder of the sale price.

But Facebook has been adding employees all this year and adding office space with them.

“In order to address our fast-growing workforce, we continue to invest in physical office locations,” a statement from Facebook said. “In the second quarter of 2020, we added a record 4,200 new employees and we now have more than 52,000 employees. While Facebook envisages 50% of its employees working remotely within the next 5-10 years, our offices are still very important to our culture and will You help accommodate the expected growth and meet the needs of our employees who need or prefer to work from campus. “

Facebook, which is based in Menlo Park, California, already has three other buildings under development in the same business district as the REI site.

“An internal employee survey conducted by the company in May showed that nearly 65% ​​of Facebook employees are eager to return to the office as soon as possible,” Facebook said.

But some other tech companies are pulling back from their office space plans, despite their growth. two weeks ago Pinterest (Pins) It announced that it had terminated its lease for approximately 490,000 square feet of office space to be built near its current San Francisco headquarters.

“As we analyze how our workplace will change in the post-Covid world, we are specifically rethinking where our future employees might be located,” Todd Morgenfeld, Pinterest’s chief financial officer, said in a statement provided to CNN Business. “A more distributed workforce will give us the opportunity to hire people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.”

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REI, which specializes in camping and other equipment and outdoor clothing, is a customer-owned cooperative. It has 167 stores in 39 states. Although it does not report quarterly results, most actual retailers reported a sharp drop in sales earlier this year due to store closures linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. REI has also switched its headquarters employees to remote work due to health concerns.

The company said it has now decided to have its headquarters spanning multiple locations across the Puget Sound area. REI will also have HQ employees working remotely as a regular model going forward.

“We learned that a more distributed way of working that we previously thought was untenable will instead open up amazing potential,” CEO Eric Artz said in August. “This will have immediate and positive impacts on our ability to attract and retain a diverse and highly skilled workforce, as we continue to overcome the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.”

REI has been planning the new headquarters for four years and has been under construction for the past two years.

“The sale represents a positive return on the cooperative investment in real estate,” according to a REI statement.

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