Facebook expansion: Tech titan wants huge new Menlo Park campus building

MENLO PARK — Facebook has submitted a request for permission to construct a large expansion to the company’s campus in Menlo Park.

The tech titan is seeking approval from Menlo Park city staffers to erect a 465,000-square-foot office building at 1 Facebook Way as part of its headquarters campus expansion in Silicon Valley, according to building permits compiled by Buildzoom.

“We value the ongoing partnership with the community as we work together to revitalize an aging industrial site and speed up the delivery of the community benefits promised in our development agreement that was approved by the Menlo Park City Council last November,” Jamil Walker, a Facebook spokesman, said Friday.

Menlo Park-based Facebook could potentially employ 2,300 people in the future Building 22. The building is part of a campus expansion consisting of now-existing Building 21 and planned Building 22 that together were expected to total 962,000 square feet.

“The design includes a new publicly accessible open space and bike / pedestrian bridge to re-connect Belle Haven to the Bay,” Walker said. Facebook also is eyeing a hotel on the site of the expanded office campus, city plans show. Belle Haven is a neighborhood next to the expanding Facebook sites.

Even amid Facebook’s startling expansion in Menlo Park, the company has undertaken its growth with the city’s concerns and requests in mind, according to a top municipal leader.

“Certainly up to now, Facebook has been a great partner for the city,” Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki said. “They have been very responsive to community needs. They are helping to fund the first-stage development efforts around the Dumbarton Rail Corridor.”

Facebook’s quest for space is far from an isolated case in Silicon Valley. Multiple major technology companies appear to be on a relentless hunt for office, research, and industrial sites, along with vacant land, in the South Bay, sections of the East Bay and Peninsula.

Besides Facebook, Mountain View-based Google and Cupertino-based Apple continue to scout for expansion sites in this region. And several other tech companies have been leasing offices at a brisk clip throughout the region.

“We’ve never seen this many different companies undertaking major expansions at the same time” in this area, said John Yandle, executive managing director of the Santa Clara office of Newmark Knight Frank, a commercial realty brokerage. “The amount of space that is being taken in a relatively short period of time is unprecedented.”

Only the expansion in the late 1990s by San Jose-based Cisco Systems was on a similar scale. The big difference this time is Facebook, Google and Apple all are undertaking major growth quests — simultaneously. Plus, Amazon and Microsoft have widened their respective Silicon Valley footprints.

Google has been busy buying properties in Sunnyvale and downtown San Jose for new office buildings, and also has been expanding in Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City.

Apple, which recently moved into its Apple Park spaceship campus in Cupertino, has been leasing Sunnyvale buildings and has bought enough buildings and land in north San Jose to develop an 84-acre campus.

And the expansion quest by tech companies has sparked activity in some areas that typically experience a more sedate pace of leasing. Fremont’s Ardenwood district has landed big leases from Facebook and Palo Alto-based Tesla. Ardenwood is seen as a place where companies can occupy offices relatively close to much of their workforce.

“All of these companies are doing well,” Yandle said. “There is no immediate end in sight to this growth.”

Source: mercurynews
Facebook expansion: Tech titan wants huge new Menlo Park campus building