Update on February 8, 2019 at 10AM PT:
After more than 18 months of conversations with our neighbors, local community organizations and civic leaders, today we’re submitting updated plans to the City of Menlo Park for the development of Willow Village, a project to replace 1 million square feet of outdated industrial office and warehouse buildings with a new, vibrant and welcoming mixed-use neighborhood for the whole community. We’re also announcing that we have partnered with Signature Development Group, a proven local development team known for designing authentic mixed-use districts that integrate with established neighborhoods to create a sense of place that promotes connection and community. Signature will lead the public approval process, stakeholder engagement, and build-out of the project.
The updated Willow Village plan is consistent with years of planning efforts through Menlo Park’s General Plan, ConnectMenlo, and presents a more open and inclusive approach that consists of approximately 1,500 residential units — 15% below market rate, up to 200,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving retail, 1.75 million square feet of office space, and a 200-250 room hotel. Key refinements include:
- A Main Street and Town Square designed for walkability, bikes and social gathering
- Relocated full-service grocery store and pharmacy next to the Belle Haven neighborhood
- A larger community park, children’s play areas and recreation fields along Willow Road
- A community center
- Better integration of the office campus into the mixed-use neighborhood
We look forward to making progress on this plan for much needed housing, retail, office and parks that serves both the needs of Facebook and our neighbors.
To learn more about Willow Village visit willowvillage.com.
Originally published July 7, 2017
By John Tenanes, VP Global Facilities and Real Estate
We found a home when we moved to Menlo Park in 2011. We are part of this community, and being here makes it possible for us to work on our mission to bring the world closer together.
That’s why we plan to keep investing in this community. When we first expanded beyond our original campus, we looked no further than across the street. Frank Gehry helped us design that building, which we call MPK20. Our presence has expanded further since then, and we are now planning to redevelop the former Menlo Science & Technology Park which we intend to call Willow Campus.
Working with the community, our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village that will provide much needed services, housing and transit solutions as well as office space. Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services. We plan to build 125,000 square feet of new retail space, including a grocery store, pharmacy and additional community-facing retail.
The first official step will be the filing of our plan with Menlo Park in July 2017. We will begin more formal conversations with local government officials and community organizations over the course of the review process, which we expect to last approximately two years. We envision construction will follow in phases, with the first to include the grocery, retail, housing and office completed in early 2021, and subsequent phases will take two years each to complete.
Housing is also critically important to these efforts. We hope to contribute significantly to the housing supply by building 1,500 units of housing on the campus, 15% of which will be offered at below market rates. This added on-site housing should also mitigate traffic impacts from growth. These efforts complement our ongoing work to address the issue, including the Catalyst Housing Fund for affordable housing we established in partnership with community groups to fund affordable housing for our local area. The fund was initiated last year with an initial investment of $18.5 million that we hope will grow.
The region’s failure to continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure alongside growth has led to congestion and delay. Willow Campus will be an opportunity to catalyze regional transit investment by providing planned density sufficient to support new east-west connections and a future transit center. We’re investing tens of millions of dollars to improve US101.
Construction will generate an array of jobs, and we’re planning to help local workers access those opportunities. The site will be developed in two phases designed to bring office, housing and retail online in tandem.
Our hope is to create a physical space that supports our community and builds on our existing programs. We’ve hosted tens of thousands of community members at farmers’ markets and events, and partnered with nonprofits like Rebuilding Together Peninsula to rehabilitate local homes. We’ve also enrolled local high school students from East Palo Alto, Belle Haven and Redwood City in our six-week summer internship program.
This is only the beginning. Going forward, we plan to continue to work closely with local leaders and community members to ensure Facebook’s presence is a benefit to the community. It’s one we’re lucky to call home.
Our design partner in imagining the campus is OMA New York. We have worked with them to prepare a video describing our vision and hope for integrating more closely with our community.