It takes a village to work and live near Facebook: Housing, retail part of plans for California campus

It’s one thing to live on Facebook in a virtual sense, as 2 billion people worldwide do on a monthly basis. But now the social media giant wants to expand its Menlo Park, Calif., campus and create a village so folks can live among Facebook.

While continuing its mission to bring the world closer together online, Facebook has revealed new plans to unite the people who work and live around its headquarters with plans for a new development called Willow Park. A blog post detailing the project says that the mixed-use village will provide much needed services, housing and transit solutions as well as office space.

“We plan to build 125,000 square feet of new retail space, including a grocery store, pharmacy and additional community-facing retail,” John Tenanes, Facebook’s VP of global facilities and real estate, wrote in the post. “Housing is also critically important to these efforts. We hope to contribute significantly to the housing supply by building 1,500 units of housing on the campus, 15% of which will be offered at below market rates.”

Facebook employees’ ability to live and shop closer to work is surely meant to address some of the traffic congestion that plagues the region since Facebook’s move to Menlo Park in 2011.

“The region’s failure to continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure alongside growth has led to congestion and delay,” Tenanes wrote. “Willow Campus will be an opportunity to catalyze regional transit investment by providing planned density sufficient to support new east-west connections and a future transit center. We’re investing tens of millions of dollars to improve US101.”

Facebook foresees a couple years of review process for the plans and construction following in phases. The first phase would include the grocery, retail, housing and office completed in early 2021. Subsequent phases will take two years each to complete, Tenanes said.

A Facebook video reveals more details about the Willow Park plans:

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