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Menlo Park's Willow Village nears finish line as Planning Commission reviews EIR

Original post made on Oct 28, 2022

The Menlo Park Planning Commission reviewed the final environmental impact report (EIR) for Meta's Willow Village on Oct. 24, where residents spoke strongly in favor of the huge development.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 28, 2022, 8:52 AM

Comments (8)

Posted by Observer
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Oct 28, 2022 at 12:27 pm

Observer is a registered user.

With Meta going down the tube who's going to pay for the construction and subsequent maintenance and management of Willow Village if Meta backs out?

Posted by Iris
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Oct 28, 2022 at 12:40 pm

Iris is a registered user.

Did the reporter stay to the end of the meeting? This article implies that only one person was critical of the project. A number of residents asked questions about the project, including concerns about the imbalance of jobs and housing. and about details in the documents related to the proposal. One even suggested waiting 6 months to consider the project until it was more clear what Meta's plans are.

Posted by Alan
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Oct 28, 2022 at 3:36 pm

Alan is a registered user.

Mirroring Observer's comments, I would like to know what the impact of Meta's recent financial issues are on this project. I doubt Meta is going to suddenly disappear, but it would not shock me if they may have second thoughts about everything in this project. (Were Meta to shrink sometime in the future, I think it might be hard to find someone else interested in some of their other buildings - particularly MPK 20, the giant open office; Willow Village seems a bit more adaptable to other tenants.)

Posted by Menlo Lifestyle
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Oct 29, 2022 at 5:01 pm

Menlo Lifestyle is a registered user.

Meta should get a medal for upscaling Belle Haven.

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Oct 29, 2022 at 11:18 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Given Meta's current financial state and the fact that they are shedding employees at a rapid rate I find it very hard to believe they need more office space. All the office space should be removed from the project and it should be 100% housing with a bank and grocery store and maybe some restaurants/coffee shop. I think the last think Menlo Park needs it to approve more office space, after all that is what created the housing imbalance in the first place. It is time to start offsetting all the Meta building that were already approved..

If they are moving forward with office space I would guess that they don't plan to develop if toe Meta but to sell the land with the approved project to someone else. It is worth more if they already have approved permits.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 30, 2022 at 7:29 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


I agree. It is time to stop approving more office space. There is already an abundance of office space in the city that is sitting empty. Meta has much of their work force working remotely, why the push for more office space? So it can sit empty? So they can lease it to other companies? It doesn't make any sense. There needs to be a moratorium on office space construction until housing catches up. And I don't mean "affordable" housing, that is a myth in this area and is unachievable here due to land and construction costs.

Posted by Resident
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2022 at 9:01 pm

Resident is a registered user.

1,730 units? 1,200,000 square feet of office space? Is this project really needed?

Why can’t the current buildings in the space be retrofitted for housing and stores? You might get less housing, but you could sure spare the local environment, and all of resources by not tearing out what is already there. I think the birds would prefer having a smaller developed area (and keeping the trees along Willow that are slated to be ripped out) to having huge buildings with “90% bird safe glass”

If the goal is to help Menlo Park and EPA residents, why not do three simple things that could be accomplished in probably one year of work
1. Close Willow Road to Dumbarton bridge traffic (you would have to do this anyway I think to do the building)
2. Put the stores, restaurants, and retail spaces in the existing buildings on the site
3. Put some housing in the other buildings. Or build up some housing on the existing buildings

I am an EPA resident who literally runs by this site every morning for exercise. Why is there such a need to tear this already empty site without first considering how to best use what is already there?

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Nov 4, 2022 at 1:27 pm

Brian is a registered user.

Just read an article that Meta terminated their long term lease in Mountain view and are "building “a best-in-class remote work experience”" . If that is the case then why are they considering moving forward with Willow Village that includes office space and some housing? Why not change the plans for 100% housing and retail (Bank, Grocery store, restaurants)? Meta stock has dropped from a high of nearly $400 a share to about $91 a share today, they have frozen hiring are reducing staff and migrating to a "remote work experience" and they are cancelling their leases for office space. Does it really make sense that they want to invest huge amounts of money developing Willow Village? Personally I don't think so. It seems more like the project would be a good sell and more valuable if they have the permits to include in the sale. The Council should not approve Willow Village as it. If they really want to back more housing then allow only housing and work with the neighbors to approve something that they support. Approving more office space only makes the cities current problems worse

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