- Social media giant Facebook has unveiled plans for a new expansion to its Menlo Park, CA, headquarters — a mixed-use "village" that will offer up housing, services and other amenities to employees and members of the local community, according to The Mercury News.
- The OMA New York–designed Willow Campus will include 1.75 million square feet of office space, 1,500 residential units, a cultural and visitor center, as well as 125,000 square feet of retail space.
- The new campus could accommodate as many as 8,700 employees, but Facebook did not reveal if a portion of the Class A office space would be reserved for lease to third parties. The company has also agreed to set aside about 225 of the units at below-market rates.
Depending on when the city of Menlo Park gives final approval for the project, construction could begin as early as 2019, with the campus's first buildings estimated to open sometime in 2021.
The Willow Campus project is in addition to a Frank Gehry–designed expansion of its Menlo Park campus that the company already has planned. The city approved the 1.1 million-square-foot project back in November — after negotiating a multimillion dollar package of community benefits — but the Menlo Park is now reviewing an amendment to those plans after the current tenant on the future site has delayed its move.
In exchange for development rights, zoning changes and a waiver of building height limitations, some of the benefits Facebook will provide include $430,000 in rent subsidies for community-based workers like teachers; $6.3 million for affordable housing; $300,000 annually to the city for 20 years; guaranteed hotel taxes of $1.25 million every year; $60,000 annually for maintenance on a community pool; and $1 million in scholarships. The Willow Campus also includes some of the concessions and the housing Facebook promised in the expansion deal.
In addition, Facebook announced in December that it would invest more into fighting the San Francisco Bay area housing crisis by forming the Catalyst Housing Fund and starting it off with an $18.5 million investment; donating $250,000 to the low-income housing organization Rebuilding Together Peninsula; and giving $500,000 to help deliver legal support to residents either being displaced or who are in disputes with their landlords.