Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) plans to address Silicon Valley’s affordable housing crisis by turning its 56-acre plot into a housing village with 1,500 homes, grocery store, transit centers among other facilities. Dubbed the Willow Campus, the new facilities will be erected across the street from the tech giant’s headquarters.
The housing units will be opened to anyone and not just Facebook employees. Facebook is also planning to subsidize the units to 15% below market rates as part of the companies push to offer affordable housing.
A grocery store and Pharmacy store in the Park should solve a long-running issue of lack of food retailers in the city. The nearest store is currently 4 miles away. The trip can take up to 40 minutes during peak hours when almost everybody is on the road.
Facebook has already posted a video showing smiling workers alongside whiteboard renderings of the proposed village as part a marketing ploy. The company hopes to gain approval from city officials as soon as possible, ahead of the commencement of construction in 2019. The first buildings should be opened for occupants in 2021.
“Working with the community, our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village. Our hope is to create a physical space that supports our community and builds on our existing programs,” said, John Tenanes, Facebook vice President of global facilities and real estate.
Facebook is also planning to invest millions of dollars in improving Highway 101 by providing density sufficient to support a future transit center.
The company has already submitted its plans to the local council, pending approval before it can begin any construction works. Menlo Park Mayor has already welcomed the plan reiterating that it will help address the ever-escalating rent-price increases triggered by the growth of west-coast companies. Monthly rent rates in the city have tripled to highs of $3,349 since 2011 making it hard for some people to live close to their places of work.