Facebook is now looking to build a huge new, living/working village development right by its already massive Menlo Park headquarters. Once completed the ‘Willow Village’ will look like its own small city. According to Palo Alto Online, it would contain 1,729 housing units, 1.25 million square feet of office space, shopping areas, a grocery store, a 193-room hotel, parks, trails, and a town square. And of course Facebook employees who live there will never ever have to leave!
The spokesperson for Willow Village, Adam Alberti told SFGate the idea was not to create a city within a city. "There's been a lot of uneducated headlines about 'new cities' and things of that nature. It's not that big. It's not a city; it's a mixed-use project that connects the existing campus to the neighborhood," said Alberti.
If built it would be the largest ever development in Menlo Park. It will be replacing 59-acres of office and industrial space near the Dumbarton rail and Willow Road. 320 of the units at Willow Village will be deemed as affordable housing with 120 slated to go to low-income seniors. Despite being so close to the Facebook campus, the units are expected to go on the market to the public.
"The 'company town' moniker is cute, but the residential units that are being built there will be open to the public. Right now, they're envisioned as being public," he added when pressed on if any of the units will be designated for Facebook employees. "That's not to say Facebook won't lease some," Alberti told SFGate.
The blueprints call for a large glass dome that leads to a two-acre community park which will be elevated 30-feet off the ground similar to San Francisco’s Salesforce Park. Facebook said in a statement: "The park stretches along an approximately one-quarter-mile long open space overlook with walking and biking trails and landscaping spanning roughly 50 to 80 feet wide. It will provide views south over Willow Village and Town Square, north to the wetlands and east towards the bay, and feature children’s play areas, shading canopies, and seating."
According to Palo Alto Online, Willow Village will allow Facebook to expand its workforce by 3,400 people who would join the 3,500 employees who already work at the headquarters. If all goes as planned Facebook could begin construction on the development as early as next year.