Facebook plans to build 1,500 new homes including supermarkets, swimming pools and a visitors’ centre, near its offices in Menlo Park, California.
The move is an attempt to address a severe housing shortage causing tension between Silicon Valley and local communities.
Detailed plans published online show a large campus with homes, parks and office space.
While most of the housing will likely go to Facebook employees, Facebook is opening up the housing to the community at large.
The housing will be a mix of market rate and affordable housing units, with 225 units, or 15%, priced below market rate.
The 56-acre site, which Facebook bought in 2015 for about $400 million, is located directly across the street from Facebook’s headquarters. It will offer 1.6 million square feet of housing, or 1,500 units.
In a blog post announcing the plans, Facebook described the future development as a “mixed-use village” that will provide residents, many of which will be Facebook employees, with housing, transportation services and other amenities.
“We plan to build 125,000 square feet of new retail space, including a grocery store, pharmacy and additional community-facing retail,” Facebook said.
The new development will also include a hotel, it will take roughly a decade to build, according to a person familiar with the plans.
The initial phase of the project, which will include the housing and grocery store, will be wrapped up in the first half of 2021. The subsequent phases will be completed every two years, according to a blog post on Facebook’s website.
“Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services,” Facebook wrote.
One benefit of having employees live so close to campus is a reduction in the amount of traffic in the area, according to the blog post.
Firms such as Google and Facebook have transformed the west coast since the tech boom began more than a decade ago.
However, house prices have rocketed as workers flock to the area, putting pressure on transport infrastructure and a limited housing supply.
Local people say the changes have made the area unaffordable, and workers endure long daily commutes.
John Tenanes, Facebook’s vice president for global facilities, says the plan for homes is part of the social network’s vision “to create a neighbourhood centre that provides long-needed community services”.
In an online statement Mr Tenanes said the project would be planned with the input of community leaders and that 15% of new homes would be priced below market value.
Menlo Park mayor Kirsten Keith said the city was “excited” at the prospect of new housing for the area but expressed concerns that the plan would increase the strain on local infrastructure.
In previous attempts to address the problem, Facebook has offered employees transportation on internet-equipped buses and incentives of at least $10,000 for those moving closer to the office.
While Facebook has presented the plans to the City of Menlo Park, they have not yet been approved. The company expects the approval process to take about two years.
Here’s a video that Facebook created about its plans:
Read the blog post here