Facebook to Open $120 Million Housing Complex for California Employees

The social network giant has partnered on a new, 394-unit apartment complex to be built “within walking distance” of its headquarters and campus in Menlo Park.

The 394-unit Menlo Park complex is planned by Facebook and developer St. Anton Partners. Photo: KTYG Group

Facebook in strategic collaboration with St. Anton Partners announced to build Anton Menlo, a multifamily housing community within walking distance of Facebook’s existing Menlo Park headquarters and their new West Campus, which is currently under construction.

Steve Eggert, St. Anton co-founder, said “we’ve enjoyed partnering with Facebook to create new housing in Menlo Park. With the guidance of Facebook and its employees, we have designed a cutting-edge project that meets the needs and tastes of today’s sophisticated renters.”

It will be something like a small “town” for employees that will cost the company $120 million to build. Anton Menlo will feature 35 studio residences, 208 one-bedroom residences, 139 two-bedroom residences and 12 three-bedroom residences. Facebook has funded 15 low-income units for the project.

The town will be 630,000 square-feet and it won’t just include apartments. It will have shops, like a local sports bar and a doggy day care facility. The mockup also shows an outdoor community pool.

The Facebook partnership is just the latest in a series of deals St. Anton has completed or has in the pipeline, totaling more than 2,000 units in the Bay Area. The Bay Area push has occurred over about four years, says the Sacramento Bee.

For Menlo Park, the financial beating heart of Silicon Valley, the complex represents the first significant new housing development in 20 years. While open to the community, including a handful of low-income tenants, it’s one way for companies like Facebook to address the housing squeeze affecting the swelling ranks of tech workers up and down the expensive Bay Area.

“Facebook is a strong supporter of its local community and consistently recognized as one of the best places in the world to work,” said a Facebook spokeswoman.

“This project advances both goals, by providing our employees an excellent new housing option within walking distance to campus while investing in new housing opportunities in our local community.”

Officials said the site recently received final zoning approval from the Menlo Park City Council and is in the design review phase with city staff. Designed by Irvine-based architecture firm KTGY Group Inc., the infill redevelopment project is on nearly 10 acres of formerly industrial land off Highway 101.

Menlo Park’s Planning Commission is scheduled to review the project this week. Assuming it’s all thumbs-up, work begins on the 10-acre parcel next month, with an opening set for 2016.

Facebook wants to make employees feel like they’re living and working on a college campus, not in a corporate environment. That’s as nice a gesture as it is scary. Now employees really won’t be able to escape their employer’s influence, even in the comfort of their homes, reports the Business Insider.

Last month a 51-unit apartment building, in which Google invested $6.5 million, opened in Mountain View a short distance from the company’s headquarters. Designed by KTGY Group, the $23 million affordable-housing project is aimed at people in the mid-$40,000 salary range. Rents range from $937 to $1,291 a month. It’s fully occupied.

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