Facebook Would Need To Pay Menlo Park Before Building West Campus

By Justin Lafferty 

Facebook is continually planning to expand, but the company’s latest addition will cost it a little extra. The social network is planning to build a second building in Menlo Park, Calif. — a 22-acre West Campus that would employ more than 2,000 people. The city of Menlo Park told Facebook that it would require an agreement similar to the one in place when the company originally set roots in the Bay Area town. For the East Campus, the social network agreed to pay the city roughly $14.5 million over the next 14 years.

Facebook is making sure it will get quality for its buck. Famous architect Frank Gehry has signed on to design the West Campus, where Tyco Electronics used to reside.

Although Menlo Park officials didn’t have any specifics in the San Jose Mercury News story regarding how much Facebook would have to pay for the West Campus to be a reality, Menlo Park Associate Planner Rachel Grossman told the reporter the company would have to set aside about $4.5 million for affordable housing. The previous agreement for $14.5 million for the East Campus included several enrichment benefits for Menlo Park: establishment of a community charitable foundation, internship and job training programs, and improvements to bike and pedestrian pathways.

A Facebook spokesperson emailed the Mercury News about talks between the city and the company:

We’re continuing our negotiations with the city as we develop our new campus, and we hope to reach an agreement that will be beneficial to both parties.

The West Campus is expected to break ground in 2013. It will be a single-story, 433,555-square-foot building with a rooftop tree park, a paved gathering, outdoor dining spaces, and a walking path.

Readers: What do you think of plans for the new West Campus?