SANTA CLARA — A mega-developer of data centers has grabbed a big South Bay research and office building in a purchase that could enable the company to widen its footprint in Silicon Valley.

Vantage Data Centers, acting through an affiliate, paid $40 million to buy a building at 2590 Walsh Ave. in Santa Clara, according to public documents filed on Feb. 19.

Facebook during 2020 leased a number of buildings in the area for data center facilities, including two just across the street, public documents filed with Santa Clara County officials show. The addresses for those Santa Clara sites were listed as 2480, 2880, and 2820 Northwestern Parkway; and 2565 and 2625 Walsh Ave. Facebook leased the data center sites from Vantage Data Centers, the same firm that just completed the property purchase at 2590 Walsh, according to official property records.

Menlo Park-based Facebook in February 2020 confirmed that it leased multiple buildings in Santa Clara when asked about the data center rental transactions.

“Our flagship campus in the heart of Silicon Valley” is how Vantage Data Centers describes the collection of Santa Clara buildings that the company owns.

The one-story Santa Clara building at 2590 Walsh that Vantage Data Centers just bought totals 113,600 square feet, commercial property databases show.

The building sits on a 6.7 acre parcel, which could make the site suitable for redevelopment as a modern data center if the new owner chooses to bulldoze the existing building.

2590 Walsh Ave., a large research and office building in Santa Clara. Google Maps

Vantage Data Center has made it clear it views Silicon Valley as a choice region for expansions of its facilities.

“In 2020, Vantage accelerated its ongoing investment and expansion in the world’s two largest data center markets,” the company stated in January 2021. “Vantage proactively began construction on additional facilities on its growing Northern Virginia campus and its second Silicon Valley campus” in 2020.

Despite the economic woes and complications unleashed during the pandemic, fallout from the spread of the deadly bug presents both challenges and opportunities for the data center sector.