Social media giant Facebook has submitted proposes to redevelop a former science and technology park in California’s Silicon Valley to grapple with skyrocketing rents in the area.
Working with local government, community organisations and architectural rule OMA, Facebook will look to build a “neighbourhood centre” comprising cover, retail and office space close to its global headquarters in Menlo Reserve, San Francisco.
Based on the site of the former Menlo Science & Technology Car park, Willow Campus will include 1,500 apartments, offices and 11,600m2 of retail array, including a grocery store and pharmacy.
The idea behind the campus is to build on Facebook’s tries to tackle Silicon Valley’s ongoing housing crisis, which comprehend establishing the Catalyst Housing Fund for affordable housing and making an opening investment of $18.5 million (£14.4 million) towards the scheme.
“The precinct’s failure to continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure, alongside growth has led to congestion and bog down,” says Facebook vice president of global facilities and real fortune, John Tenanes. “Our hope is to create a physical space that boosts our community and builds on our existing programmes.”
“Peninsula cities have a cover crisis”
However, Tenanes acknowledges that only 15% of the casing built will cost less than the market rate, which is the stereotypical price for a home in the area.
The average monthly rent for a two bed apartment in Menlo Deposit has more than tripled from $950 (£740) to $3,349 (£2,600) since 2011 when Facebook portended it would move to the area, according to property data site Split Jungle.
The company says it is also investing “tens of millions of dollars” to enhance the US101 highway, which runs from Menlo Park to San Francisco.
Menlo Commons mayor Kirsten Keith tweeted her support for Facebook’s proposal, saying: “Peninsula boroughs have a housing crisis. I hope more tech companies into forward with affordable housing proposals as Facebook has done.”
The rehash process for Facebook’s proposal is expected to run for the next two years, and the first shape of the campus’ construction will be completed in early 2021.