Real Estate

Facebook, Google building affordable housing in Silicon Valley

Turns 56-acre area into a company town

Facebook employees will soon have their own affordable housing right across the street from its Menlo Park headquarters, according to an article by Emmie Martin for CNBC.

Facebook announced its plans to redevelop a community on 56-acre Menlo Science and Technology Park, which it will call Willow Campus.

From Facebook’s blog:

Working with the community, our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village that will provide much needed services, housing and transit solutions as well as office space. Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services. We plan to build 125,000 square feet of new retail space, including a grocery store, pharmacy and additional community-facing retail.

Facebook will take its first step by filing its plan with Menlo Park in July 2017. The company explained it will take the next two years having formal conversations with local governments officials and community organizations before it completes its housing and office in 2021.

The new construction will add 1,500 new housing units, of which 15% will be affordable, priced below the market rate, according to the CNBC article. And Facebook’s community will not only house its employees but also the community at large.

But Facebook isn’t the only company building affordable housing in Silicon Valley. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, will pay about $30 million to provide temporary housing for 300 of its employees.

From the article:

According to The Wall Street Journal, Alphabet is making a significant investment in modular housing built and shipped in from elsewhere by the start-up Factory OS, because the current local offerings are so overpriced: "San Francisco rents have jumped by almost 50 percent since 2010, while home prices have increased 98 percent since the bottom of the market in 2009."

But rents for Alphabet's apartments are expected to be more moderate. Factory OS founder and CEO Rick Holliday tells the Journal that "a previous project that Holliday built using modular technology saved tenants $700 a month in rent because of reduced construction costs."

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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