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Facebook is buying an unused headquarters, even though several employees work externally

REI announced in August that it had decided to sell the 400,000-square-foot campus complex in Bellevue, Washington, that it had planned to relocate this summer. It revealed Monday that it had reached an agreement to sell the property for $ 390 million. Facebook (FB) buys the buildings and most of the land for $ 367.6 million, while the developer buys an undeveloped 2-acre portion of the property for the remainder of the sale price.

But Facebook has added staff over the course of this year and added office space along with them.

“To address our rapidly growing workforce, we continue to invest in physical office space,”

; a statement from Facebook said. “In the second quarter of 2020, we added a record 4,200 new employees and now have more than 52,000 employees. While Facebook imagines that 50% of employees will work externally within the next 5-10 years, our offices are still very important to our culture and will help meet the expected growth and meet the needs of our staff who need or prefer to work off campus. “

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, already had 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 approx. 65% of Facebook employees were eager to return to the office as soon as possible, ”said Facebook.

But some other tech companies are retreating to office space plans despite their own growth. Two weeks ago Pinterest (PINS) announced that it had terminated its lease of approx. 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 a post-Covid world, we specifically consider where future employees may be based,” Pinterest CFO Todd Morgenfeld said in a statement to CNN Business. “A more distributed workforce will allow us to hire people from a wider range of backgrounds and experiences.”

Working from home is not for everyone

REI, which specializes in camping and other outdoor equipment and clothing, is a co-op owned by its customers. It has 167 stores in 39 states. Although it does not report quarterly results, most brick and mortar retailers reported a sharp drop in sales earlier this year due to closures associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. REI also moved its headquarters staff to telecommuting due to health concerns.

The company said it has now decided to have its headquarters spanning several locations throughout the Puget Sound region. REI will also have head office staff working externally as its normal model in the future.

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

REI had been planning the new headquarters for four years and it had been under construction for the last two.

“The sale represents a positive return on the cooperative’s investment in the property,” according to REI’s statement.

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