The most recent plans, which were updated in May, show the development will be built where a single-use industrial and warehouse complex currently stands…
It will feature 1,729 apartments, including about 320 that will be affordable housing and up to 120 units designated for senior housing…
The plans for the new city also feature a supermarket, pharmacy, cafes and restaurants and a 193-room hotel.
The 200,000 square feet of planned retail space will be built around a 1.5-acre town square.
Separate to the town square will be a four-acre public park, a two-acre elevated park similar to New York City’s High Line and other public open spaces.
In addition to the housing and retail spaces, Facebook also plans to have 1.25 million square feet of new office, meeting and conference room space for the social media company.
There are multiple interesting elements of this proposal:
- This has numerous benefits for Facebook. It will have new office space built to its specifications. It will have some housing space for workers. It worked with the municipality to make changes.
- All of this happening in the aftermath of COVID-19 where it is not entirely clear how many workers will return to the office. Adding this amount of office space suggests Facebook thinks it – or some other firm – can use the space.
- This kind of mixed-use development is popular in many places. For example, New Urbanists promote such developments for their numerous advantages. Is Facebook explicitly building on this line of reasoning or does it have other reasons for this kind of development?
- Once the land is developed in this way, what role will Facebook play moving forward in overseeing the space? This will be an ongoing tension between the company, residents, and the municipality.
- This is an expensive area in which to develop land. Facebook has the resources to pull this off when others could not. In the long run, will this viewed as a net gain for the larger community or is it best for the company?
Since the project is under review by Menlo Park, it will be interesting to see how this continues to play out.