Citing a severe shortage of housing in Silicon Valley, Facebook announced a plan to build a “village” with 1,500 housing units near its California headquarters. The so-called village will host a hotel and a huge grocery store.
The company’s tremendous growth has led to a lack of housing in the already strained SF Bay neighborhoods. Over the last decade, Facebook and Google have been struggling with a tidal wave of new workers, for whom they were not prepared.
Other tech companies tried to address the issue by equipping buses with Internet for commuters. Facebook offered $10,000 to its workers that decide to move their homes closer to its HQ. However, these measures are not enough, and workers have complained that tech firms made housing unaffordable in the area.
The problem with Silicon Valley is you don’t have enough supply to keep up with the demand,
said an expert at the real estate research firm CoreLogic
Facebook wants to build its first units in Menlo Park. The village would feature 1.75 million square feet of space for offices. The company said that the place should be a center that has all sorts of community-services.
Housing Units Not Just for Facebook Employees
The 1,500 livable units can be accessed by anyone including workers, and 15% of them would be sold for a below-the-market price. The project needs to undergo a review first which could take two years to complete.
Meanwhile, Google Inc’s parent company, Alphabet, will build 300 housing units only for employees that will live there temporarily.
Menlo Park authorities are concerned that the project may boost traffic in the area, therefore, the city’s planning department needs to look closer into the issue. Authorities, on the other hand, said the social media giant’s project fits with the municipality long-term development plans.
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