A long-running real estate imbroglio between Google and LinkedIn just reached a surprising conclusion: The two companies have agreed to swap huge swathes of property, with no money changing hands.
The deal includes Google forking over properties in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, while snapping up LinkedIn’s real estate in the North Bayshore area, near its own HQ.
Total, the “stunning ‘grand bargain'” includes 1 million square feet of existing buildings and 2.4 million square feet of land for development, The Silicon Valley Business Journal reports.
The deal started coming together last summer, when each company’s Mountain View development plans faced roadblocks. Google, the largest landowner in North Bayshore, had just lost a city council vote for a futuristic new HQ and LinkedIn’s plan to build a cohesive campus called Shoreline Commons would take five to six years. But then Jim Moregensen, LinkedIn’s VP of workplace, invited David Radcliffe, Google’s VP of real estate, to lunch at its Mountain View cafeteria. Together, they first floated the idea of a collaborative solution that would work for each company as well as the city, which built traffic caps into its land-use plans, a LinkedIn spokesperson tells Business Insider.
The deal will bring all of LinkedIn’s 3,700 South Bay employees into one, walkable location (technically between Sunnyvale and Mountain View) and gives Google a “clearer path” forward in its development plans.
“Google and LinkedIn have come to an agreement that will have a direct, positive impact on the ongoing traffic challenges in Mountain View and is beneficial to both of our organisations as well,” a Google spokesperson says. “We’re excited to move forward with our respective development plans in our hometown.”
A LinkedIn spokesperson puts it similarly: “It’s such a win-win.”
“It’s pretty uncommon,” she continued. “Often, this sort of thing happen on the investor level, on the property side, but rarely between companies, which is why we’re so happy everything worked out the way that it did.”