Social media giant, Facebook is venturing into the world of real estate as it plants its roots near its Menlo Park, California, headquarters—complete with a supermarket, restaurants, shops, and a 193-room hotel.
Facebook’s Willow Village is set to transform with 1,729 apartments on-site, including 320 affordable units and 120 set aside for seniors.
The development of the 59-acre site, currently an industrial and research complex, is a collaboration between Facebook and Signature Development Group, a Bay Area real estate developer best known for the Hive, a mixed-use commercial, shopping, and residential space in Oakland.
The design for Willow Village is pedestrian-friendly, with bike lanes and ample sidewalks, and includes numerous public green spaces, including a quarter-mile elevated park akin to the High Line in Manhattan.
Plans also call for a new 1.25-million-square-foot modernist office building, including a massive glass-domed area envisioned as a “collaborative area.”
The company filed paperwork to redevelop the half-century-old Prologis Menlo Science and Technology Park in 2017, but was met with resistance during the two-year public comment period. Residents in nearby neighborhoods like Belle Haven complained it would worsen traffic and make housing even more scarce.
In response, the social-media giant came back with a blueprint with about 30% less office space and 200 more apartments. It also agreed to prioritize construction of the grocery store and other amenities open to non-employees.
“We’re deeply committed to being a good neighbor in Menlo Park,” John Tenanes, Facebook’s VP of real estate, told the News last year.“We listened to a wide range of feedback and the updated plan directly responds to community input.”
The 200,000 square feet of retail space, which also includes cafes and a pharmacy, will be built around a 1.5-acre town square.