Around Town | November 18, 2011 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - November 18, 2011

Around Town

A BLOOMING CAMPUS ... Palo Alto cloud-computing giant VMWare made headlines earlier this year when it took over the massive Stanford Research Park campus formerly occupied by Roche — an acquisition that will allow the company to double its workforce and make it the largest employer in the city. This week, the company delighted the city's Architectural Review Board with its ambitious proposal to create a "campus in the forest" atmosphere at the Hillview Avenue site. The property will feature various groves and pathways, along with a new central plaza, branded "Town Square," featuring fountains, oaks and sycamores. "Visitors arrive and they know they arrived at the new VMWare," said David Walker, the landscape architect for the project. The company, whose campus now makes up close to 3 million square feet, is thinking big. To accommodate the added workforce — which will boost its employee base to roughly 6,000 — it plans to build four new office buildings and three new parking garages, as well as two new "amenity buildings" featuring gyms and food services. The board didn't vote on the project Thursday, but members had words of praise for the company's plans, which will continue to evolve in the coming months before they go through the formal reviews. Board member Judith Wasserman called it "generally a quite wonderful and exciting project," while her colleague Alex Lew called the company's landscaping plans "stunning" and "really beautiful." The board expects to begin its formal review of the project early next year.

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