Denver area residents were treated to some fun over the weekend with reports of the purchase of a 432-acre former campus of Storage Technology by a “mystery buyer,” for as much as $60 million. The buyer insisted on absolute secrecy from everyone involved in the deal, including Sun Microsystems, which owned the campus. “It’s like dealing with the CIA,” said one broker associated with the transaction.
The negotiations were so secretive that the Associated Press reported Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., as saying, “We don’t even know it is a tech company. It could be a tech company, but it could also be a financial services company or an energy company. Who knows?”
I’d give very good odds that it’s Google, for a number of reasons:
The campus would be ideal for a hybrid data center and workspace for engineers and salespeople. The campus is just four miles from Level 3 Communications, which operates one of the largest communications and internet backbones in the world. Google CEO Eric Schmidt was the CTO of Sun for years. There’s a major regional airport just three miles down the road. The area has a wealth of telecommunications and computer engineering talent (IBM is Boulder county’s largest employer and Qualcomm has an office here). The campus is even located on streets with geeky names (Tape Drive and Disc Drive). I could go on, but all of the puzzle pieces seem to fit.
I asked Google for a comment but haven’t yet heard back from them—stay tuned!
Update: I received this comment from Google spokesperson Katie Watson: “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. We will always seek to acquire space as necessary to meet our needs.”