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It’s official: TripAdvisor signs lease for new headquarters in Needham

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It’s official: TripAdvisor Inc. is moving back home.

The world’s largest travel website, which was founded in Needham in 2000, is expected to announce Tuesday that it will be leaving its current headquarters in Newton in 2015. The company signed a long-term lease that will give TripAdvisor more than 280,000 square feet of space in Needham, more than double the size of the 119,000 square-foot office it currently occupies.

The company plans to relocate more than 500 jobs and is experiencing 30 percent employee growth annually, said Julie M.B. Bradley, TripAdvisor’s chief financial officer.

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“For the amount of space we needed, the ones that were available to us were very corporate,” said Bradley. “We needed to find a space that felt like us and we couldn’t find one on the market.”

TripAdvisor will be the anchor of Center 128, an office park in Needham close to Route 128 that is being redeveloped. The custom-built office, with green space out front and an amphitheater shaped courtyard, will help draw other companies to the office park, which has 830,000 square feet of total available space for development.

Normandy Real Estate Partners and Greenfield Partners, LLC are the developers, and Normandy will be the office building’s master developer.

“We couldn’t be happier with the type of tenant TripAdvisor is,” said Jon Varholak, a partner at Richards Barry Joyce Partners, the real estate firm that represented Normandy in the deal. “They’re experiencing explosive growth.”

In December, voters at a special town meeting in Needham approved tax breaks to TripAdvisor to lure the Internet travel giant back to town. Under the 13-year incentive program, TripAdvisor will be exempt from paying 76 percent of taxes to the town for the first five years, and 1 percent of its taxes for the next eight years.

Such a deal allows the company to pay $1.8 million less in taxes over 13 years, while Needham gains more than $6 million than it would have without the project, according to Kate Fitzpatrick, Needham’s town manager.

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