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Google and LinkedIn swap real estate in 'grand bargain' deal

The swap will allow Google to pursue its futuristic dream campus, with glass canopies and movable structures.


Plans for Google's futuristic new campus.


Early last year, Google unveiled plans for a crazy, futuristic expansion of its headquarters in Mountain View, California. The whimsical new stomping grounds would include buildings with sweeping translucent canopies, glass walls and flexible, movable elements that the company could tailor to different projects.

But after the search giant presented the plan to the city, LinkedIn, which also resides in Mountain View, stood in the way. The city council awarded the social network much of the sought-after land.

Now, Google will be free to pursue its dream campus. The companies have agreed to a "grand bargain" that lets the two swap real estate -- with no money changing hands. The news was reported earlier Tuesday by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

As part of the deal, LinkedIn gets two large Google properties in Mountain View, and one in Sunnyvale, as part of an effort to consolidate its Silicon Valley staff in Sunnyvale.

"We're excited to bring our 3,700 South Bay-based employees together into a single walkable location to continue to foster our culture of collaboration," a LinkedIn spokeswoman said.

Last month, LinkedIn announced it will be acquired by Microsoft. The buyout didn't factor into its land swap with Google, the spokeswoman said.

On Google's end, the search giant gets the lease for LinkedIn's 370,000-square-foot property in Mountain View, as well as other critical pieces the social network owned in the city.

A Google spokesman said the swap will be "beneficial to both of our organizations," and will help out traffic issues in the city.