Bay Area housing, traffic have Facebook looking elsewhere for expansion

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a publicly broadcast
Q&A with employees that his company is looking elsewhere for
growth because of the Bay Area’s housing and traffic issues.

“The infrastructure here is really tapped,” Zuckerberg said
Thursday. “Housing prices are way up. Traffic is bad.” He added
that while Facebook is trying to do what it can to help with what
he called the region’s policy challenges, “at this point
we’re primarily growing outside of the Bay Area.”

The social networking giant has a huge footprint in the Bay
Area, where it was founded. In addition to the company’s massive
headquarters in Menlo Park, it also has offices in Fremont and San
Francisco, and plans to open offices in Burlingame next year. Last
month, it
opened a new campus
in Sunnyvale, leasing 1 million square feet
that can accommodate thousands of employees.

Facebook’s largest locations outside the Bay Area are in
Seattle, Austin and New York City, a spokesman said Friday. Other
major cities where the company has offices include Los Angeles,
Boston, Chicago, Denver and Washington, D.C.

Facebook has tried to address the Bay Area housing crunch by

proposing mixed-use space
in Menlo Park and
subsidizing apartments for teachers
,
funding housing for low-income residents
and more. The
foundation by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, earlier this
year partnered with Facebook, Genentech and others to
pledge $500 million
to build or preserve more than 8,000 homes
in the Bay Area over the next 5 to 10 years.

Zuckerberg addressed the Bay Area’s infrastructure woes as
part of his answer to an employee’s question about why Facebook
isn’t friendlier to remote work. The CEO said he prefers big hubs
where Facebook engineering teams could be around one another, and
that he doesn’t want to have a lot of small offices around the
world, except for where sales teams need to be in the markets
they’re serving.

Zuckerberg’s comments come as other tech companies, including
Apple and Google,
expand their presence
in the Bay Area.

Facebook isn’t the only tech company that’s looking to grow
elsewhere, though. Commercial real estate brokerage Cushman &
Wakefield said this week that 58 of the 89 biggest — with
headquarters of 100,000 square feet and above — tech and life
science companies based in the Bay Area have leased 30.4 million
square feet of office space in other U.S. cities since January
2010. Outside the Bay Area, the five markets with the most square
footage leased by those types of companies are Austin, Seattle, New
York, Southern California and Chicago.

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Facebook’s CEO live-streamed the internal meeting this week after
audio of a previous meeting was leaked to the
Verge
. At that meeting, Zuckerberg said Facebook would fight
Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s efforts
to break up the company
if she became president. At
Thursday’s meeting,
Zuckerberg said
he would try not to “antagonize” Warren
further.
Source: FS – All – Real Estate News 1
Bay Area housing, traffic have Facebook looking elsewhere for expansion