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Facebook Details Menlo Park Plan

City report shows how tech giant plans to bind its properties across Highway 84.

Facebook Details Menlo Park Plan

A vision of Facebook's new home in Menlo Park is beginning to come into focus, with a newly released city report illustrating a portion of what the social networking giant plans to build for its extensive workforce.

The report details the prospective outlook for development on the western segment of the Facebook property across Highway 84 from the company's future headquarters at the intersection of Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway.

The 22-acre site will be connected to the larger eastern portion of the campus by a tunnel under Highway 84, which would create easier access between sites for employees. 

Travel will become even easier if the company installs a proposed moving track next to the walkway.

Last month, the company's first 20 employees moved from Palo Alto onto the company's new East campus property, which was purchased form Sun Microsystems in February. 

At the beginning of August, more than 500 employees had moved to Menlo Park. And the company is expecting more than 1,400 will complete the transition by the end of the year. 

Facebook is currently permitted to house up to 3,600 employees on the eastern portion of the campus, but Menlo Park business development director David Johnson has indicated the company may ask to raise the cap as its workforce grows. 

Menlo Park City Council members Tuesday night accepted the most recent report that details some of the plans for the company's headquarters.

The approved report shows that under the control of Facebook, the thoroughfare formerly known as Network Circle around the perimeter of the eastern campus will be changed to Hacker Way. 

City staff is currently drafting the necessary Environmental Impact Report, which will explore the proposed development's impact on the surrounding area. The report is due to be released in the late fall.

Construction of the five office buildings and one West campus parking garage is not slated to begin until 2013. Improvements on the existing facilities at the larger, 57-acre eastern site are already underway. 

The Facebook campus will likely eventually take on the look of many other leading Silicon Valley tech companies in which employees are offered an extensive variety of amenities. 

Furthermore, it is expected that Facebook may attempt to develop a community outreach program with local businesses in Menlo Park in which vouchers will be offered to Facebook employees that can be redeemed for goods and services from local vendors. 

Johnson said he expected, should such a plan be developed, that it may begin with local restaurants and cafes but could be extended into other industries as well. 

The intention of such a program would be to facilitate a relationship between Facebook employees and the greater Menlo Park community, said Johnson.

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