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Fast-growing TripAdvisor is leaving Newton

Lease in Needham, where it started, lets company more than double space

TripAdvisor will be the anchor of Center 128, an office park in Needham near Route 128 that is being redeveloped.Elkus manfredi Architects

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

The world’s largest travel website, 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 it 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, its chief financial officer.

“For the amount of space we needed, the ones that were available to us were very corporate,” Bradley said. “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 near Route 128 that is being redeveloped. The custom-built office, with green space in front and an amphitheater-shaped courtyard, may help draw other companies to the park, which has 830,000 square feet of space available 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 for TripAdvisor to lure the Internet travel giant back to town.

Under a 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 following 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, said Kate Fitzpatrick, the town manager of Needham.


Gail Waterhouse can be reached at gail.waterhouse@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @gailwaterhouse.