Menlo Park: Facebook forges ahead with plans to build two office buildings on third campus

Social media company may also build 200-room hotel on Chilco Street

Facebook's real estate dealings are a constant feature of news headlines of late. Fresh off the opening of the Gehry building in Menlo Park, also known as the "west campus" and "MPK20" and "that cool building at 1 Facebook Way," the social media company has now submitted a proposal for the 59 acres it bought from TE Connectivity in 2014.

Located on Constitution Drive near the corner of Chilco Street and Bayfront Expressway, the redeveloped site would have 985,719 square feet of office space in two new buildings, for a net increase of 149,881 square feet; public open space; and a pedestrian-bike bridge over the Bayfront Expressway, under the current proposal.

Facebook is also considering construction of a 200-room, 120,000-square-foot hotel at the corner of Chilco Street and the Bayfront Expressway, according to the city on April 4.

Gehry Partners, the firm founded by world-famous architect Frank Gehry, is also designing this campus, which is expected to resemble MPK20 in look and feel.

Redevelopment of the TE site has already started -- Facebook received a permit in December to convert a 185,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution building on the site to an office building with employee amenities such as a cafe and fitness center.

Construction would be done in phases. The next step in the process is an environmental impact review.

Menlo Park will also have some negotiating to do, as Facebook will need to provide affordable housing in exchange for development permits, whether by paying in-lieu fees, building units or some combination of the two.

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12 people like this
Posted by Lourdes
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 6, 2015 at 12:32 pm

It's sad for us to see so much traffic in our streets :( and knowing that more and more people are coming from other countries and cities and our sons and daughters can't get a job there living so close it's just not ok, and we are the ones who have to live with all the mess.

5 people like this
Posted by Bob N
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Apr 6, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Why can't our kids get work there? If they have the education they can get a job. Everything from janitors, child care up to software engineers and advertising exec.
As parents we have to guide our kids totake advantage of the educational opportunities available in our area. If we failed, it's shame on us as parents.

4 people like this
Posted by Bob N
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Apr 6, 2015 at 1:48 pm

I should have added, we shouldn't blame Facebook. Personally I don't like the whole idea of social media but the fact is, it is now a part of our lives and it's creating thousands of jobs in our city. Many years ago we had Hiller Aviation but things change, and we need to change with the times. We also need to stop thinking we are living in a small town in the suburbs. We may be in a smallish city but we are in the middle of a large, growing uban Area and as much as we dislike that situation it is not going to stop growing. We have to adapt, or move. The best we can do is to try and pressure growth to happen in a responsible way. In the past we fought it and all we did was create massive urban sprawl so we now have to travel many mikes to find some open space. How do we all like that?

1 person likes this
Posted by Jym Clendenin
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Apr 6, 2015 at 2:01 pm

1) All other things being equal, it seems to me the best place to put offices in our city, if you want to minimize traffic on our city streets, is near the Dumbarton Bridge and Hwy 101.

2) How many miles do we in Menlo Park have to travel outside the city to find open space? I'd say less than 1 if you include Stanford, and less than 3 if you insist on public space such as the Mid-peninsula Open Space District or County Parks (one of which is inside the city limits).

5 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Apr 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Our view of open Space has changed unfortunately.
More density in fewer areas would have given more open space and made public transport a good possibility.
The way it turned out us that we have so much sprawl public transport is highly impactable in most cases causing us to all drive a lot and it's getting worse. Instead of billions being spent on high speed rail how about extending Bart to San Jose and various light rail projects around the Bay Area? Have you ever tried to get to any of our community colleges in San Mateo county without a car? Very difficult and time consuming. Why did we build our schools on the top of high hills? Real bright planning, and this is just one example. Why are they not near the cal train line in high rise buildings?

5 people like this
Posted by Bob McGrew
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Apr 6, 2015 at 4:27 pm

Bob from Fair Oaks - the positive thing about that area is that there's the Dumbarton rail corridor running through it that could be revitalized. At the least, we could get a dedicated bus running along that corridor quickly without needing to fight with traffic from the East Bay on Willow. In the long-term, it would be possible to get Caltrain service there and take it across the Bay if we are all willing to support it.

This would be a huge positive for both the workers there and for the residents who have to deal with the cut-through traffic from the Easy Bay every day.

7 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Apr 7, 2015 at 6:28 am

has anyone thought aboutthe water issues ? Since we are all now being asked to cut back at home shouldn't we cutail any development for a while ? I'll bet when finished there will be facilities there for employees to take showers etc & not have to whoor about usage & cutting back. Lucky them - we will have to struggle w/ 3 min showers n& no garden.

5 people like this
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Apr 7, 2015 at 7:47 pm

Neighbor makes a good point. Where is the balance between the infrastructure, resources, and push for growth.

We're in a drought and we're building more housing, office complexes, etc. which will all use more water. We complain about the traffic yet applaud new construction and the adding of housing and more businesses.

I'm not anti-growther or pro-environmentalist just a pragmatist. There is a limit to what the plate can support and pay for.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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