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Perched midway between Oakland and San Jose, Calif., the city of Fremont has recently faced somewhat of an identity crisis. Was it a San Francisco suburb, Silicon Valley city or a little bit of both?

A recent deal inked by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel Corp. gives the first definitive answer to that question. With the company’s lease on a 74,000-sf office building in the city’s Pacific Commons office park, Fremont can honestly call itself a member of the Silicon Valley family.

Intel is the first tenant to commit to Pacific Commons, an 822-acre complex under construction between Auto Mall Parkway and Cushing Boulevard. Scheduled for completion within the next decade, Pacific Commons will accommodate 20,000 employees, a hotel and conference center, and even its own lake.

The office, its first commuter satellite branch for East Bay employees, will initially house 50 workers and share space with three recent Intel acquisitions — Softcom Microsystems Inc., Basis Communications Corp., and Ambient Technologies Inc.

Company sources said the decision to build the branch was a direct result of legendary traffic tie-ups in the area, particularly on main artery I-880. Less than 20 miles separate Fremont and Santa Clara, but rush-hour delays between the two cities can often translate to hours-long commute time.

Intel’s main Santa Clara plant has 7,000 workers.

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