Facebook just sent out an invitation to a press briefing on Tuesday. Usually these are accompanied by breathless excitement across the Interwebs about what Mark Zuckerberg et al. might be announcing. (An update to user profiles? A competitor to Groupon? A Gmail killer???!)
But this time, we expect the news to fall on the mundane side of the spectrum. The press conference will take place at the City Hall of Menlo Park, a town in Silicon Valley where Facebook is reported to have snapped up new office property.
Last week, a local weekly newspaper reported that Facebook purchased 22 acres near an old campus belonging to Sun Microsystems. If so, that would give the burgeoning startup much-needed room to expand. (And they need it. Fast Company was at their offices earlier this week, and the company parking lot was so full that some staffers had gotten extremely creative in their quest to create parking spaces.)
While news of the expansion may not light up the web, the city of Menlo Park should be giddy. If Facebook grows as dramatically expected, Menlo Park can bank on massive inflows of property taxes. Celebrities will fly in to visit the Facebook-plex, and the new location is more convenient to the airport. Meanwhile, the very nice families in Palo Alto who’ve put up with Facebook inundating their otherwise tranquil residential neighborhood for the past few years will get a breather.
Update: Facebook’s official comment on Tuesday’s event confirms our suspicions: “We’re holding a press event on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at Menlo Park City Hall regarding a campus that will fit our long-term business needs. We look forward to sharing more at that time.”
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E.B. Boyd is Fast Company’s Silicon Valley reporter. Email.