Facebook is currently planning to develop a community near its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The property is set to have a supermarket, restaurants, shops, and a 193-room hotel.
The company town will be known as Willow Village, and will contain over 1,700 apartments on site, including 320 more affordable units and 120 that will be set aside specifically for senior citizens.
Willow Village is being developed on a 59-acre site which currently stands as an industrial and research complex. Facebook is collaborating with Signature Development Group to create the space; the group is a Bay Area real estate developer known for creating spaces that combine commercial and residential spaces.
The design for Willow Village is projected to be very community oriented and pedestrian friendly. It will have numerous bike trails, sidewalk space, and numerous public park spaces; including a quarter-mile elevated park meant to emulate the High Line in Manhattan, NYC.
The development will also contain a 1.25-million-square-foot office building that will include a massive glass-dome area known as the “collaboration area.”
Facebook initially filed paperwork to redevelop the 59-acre site back in 2017, but were met with major resistance from residents in nearby neighborhoods who were worried about the traffic and housing prices that would be impacted.
In order to accommodate, Facebook created a blueprint that made Willow Village have 30% less office space to make room for 200 more apartments. It also agreed to prioritize construction of grocery stores and other retail options that any citizen can use, not just employees.
“We’re deeply committed to being a good neighbor in Menlo Park. We listened to a wide range of feedback and the updated plan directly responds to community input,” said John Tenanes, Facebook’s VP of real estate.
Willow Village will not just be for Facebook employees. The City of Menlo Park is still currently reviewing Facebook’s proposal that would allow for prime residential access to the spaces in Willow Village, but it’s expected that the proposal will be approved in the coming weeks.
The goal is to have as many Facebook employees as possible living in the village to allow for optimal business. The public aspect will also help the social media giant further grow because they now will have direct access to the individuals who use the platform every day.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.