http://almanacnews.com/print/story/print/2012/09/26/briefs-city-checks-facebooks-west-campus-plans


Almanac

News - September 26, 2012

Briefs: City checks Facebook's west campus plans

by Sandy Brundage

Get ready for round two — the permit process for Facebook's proposed west campus on Constitution Drive has gotten under way with a study session scheduled for the Sept. 24 Planning Commission meeting.

The social networking company wants to build a one-story office building designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry on 22 acres it owns across the street from its headquarters off Willow Road. The 433,555-square-foot structure would perch on top of approximately 1,540 parking spaces, and be designed to blend into the landscape by incorporating a rooftop and ground-level gardens.

The west campus would accommodate 2,800 employees, mainly engineers, according to Facebook, and also include two public lobbies for visitors — the headquarters has gotten used to turning tourists away.

The staff report notes that the same negotiating team that dealt with the east campus will handle terms for the development agreement for the west campus; that team includes council members Kirsten Keith and Rich Cline.

Go to tinyurl.com/9eqzj3c to review the staff report for the study session. The Planning Commission planned to focus on identifying potential public benefits.

ReStore San Carlos

ReStore, Habitat for Humanity's chain of stores for "gently used" goods and home improvement supplies, now has a branch in San Carlos.

It carries standard hardware items along with home appliances such as refrigerators for 50 to 70 percent off retail price, according to the press release for the Sept. 22 grand opening. Proceeds support Habitat projects around the Bay Area.

The new ReStore is located at 1411 Industrial Road in San Carlos and open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Hearing on closure

of emergency room

Anticipating public concern regarding the anticipated closure of the Mills Health Center standby emergency department in San Mateo, the county has scheduled a public hearing for Thursday, Sept. 27.

The standby department will close Dec. 1 and be converted to an urgent care clinic in the fall of 2013, according to Mills-Peninsula Health Services. The switch would allow the health care organization to avoid spending $60 million to $80 million on state-mandated seismic retrofits. The department, which handles non-critical emergencies, saw about 34 patients a day last year, about two-thirds less than other local facilities.

The public hearing starts at 5 p.m. in Room 100 of the San Mateo County Health System at 225 37th Ave. in San Mateo.

Menlo Park retains

AAA bond rating

Citing the city's strong economy, high income levels and strong connection to the technology sectors of Silicon Valley, bond rating agency Fitch has confirmed Menlo Park's AAA bond rating, city officials announced Sept. 24.

The rating, the highest available, reflects the city's "track record of consistently identifying new revenue opportunities and cost savings strategies to address potential imbalances," according to Fitch officials. The announcement noted that those new revenue streams include the proposed hotel tax increase on the November ballot, as well as the available (but unimplemented) capacity to increase the utility users' tax.

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