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SOUTH SAN JOSE-Alteon WebSystems doesn’t like doing things small. So when the Internet infrastructure company gathered to celebrate the start of construction on its new 300,000-sf, four-building campus late last week, CEO Dominic Orr didn’t push down a golden shovel. He pushed down a detonator wired to a goodly sum of dynamite.

“That’s what we do,” a company source tells GlobeSt. “We started out as a small … company and so like everyone else in Silicon Valley, we resorted to theatrics to scream louder than any other company.”

Alteon had long since been noticed, however. The company recently announced it will be bought by Nortel Networks for $7.8 million. “It was one of our last independent acts,” the source said. “We decided to go big. We tend to have big parties, give away big toys.”

The first phase of the development, 180,000 sf in two buildings, is slated to be up by August 2001. There is no firm completion date for the full campus. Sobrato Development Company is in charge of construction.

The company not only started out small, it started out nearby. The tiny strip-mall space in which Alteon was founded four years ago is less than 200 feet away from where the new offices will rise.

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