Sun Microsystems (JAVA) has sold a large technology campus in Louisville, Colorado to a buyer whose identity is being closely guarded, sparking rumors that Google may be the new owner. Google (GOOG) is not shooting down the reports, which will only intensify the speculation that a major Google facility may be coming to the site.
The 432-acre parcel was once the corporate headquarters for Storage Technology, which was acquired by Sun in 2005. A company called ST Acquisitions LLC paid $55.6 million for the site in a deal that closed Jan. 25, according to the Rocky Mountain News. ST Acquisitions was formed Jan. 8, apparently as a special-purpose entity to purchase the site in Louisville. Local economic officials and the selling broker say they do not know the identity of the buyer.
Search Engine Land contacted Google to ask if they were the buyers of the Storage Technology site, and got an interesting response. "While I cannot comment on a specific property, the Colorado area is significant to Google as we have many users, employees, advertisers and publishers there, and it is a base for recruiting," Google spokesperson Katie Watson told SEL. "We will always seek to acquire space as necessary to meet our needs."
While some of the speculation is focusing on a data center, the existing facilities at the Louisville site lend themselves to a major office or mixed-use complex, although the size of the parcel leaves the option of data center development. The site has more than 2 million square feet of existing office space, which at one time housed more than 7,000 employees of Storage Technology.