Facebook moving to Menlo Park--College Terrace happy Palo Alto Issues, posted by Too Much Traffic, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2011 at 11:01 am
Today's (January 5th) Daily Post has an article about Facebook and it's relationship with the neighbors in College Terrace. Naturally, being College Terrace, there are complaints about traffic. So Facebook starts shuttle runs--so naturally there are complaints about the buses used during the shuttle runs ( can anything ever satisfy College Terrace). Of course, the College Terrace movers and shakers, Fred Balin and BrenT barker, claim that they had nothing to do with Facebook's contemplated move.
the article also mentions that the city initiated a program that required that 35% of Facebook employees use public transportation, carpools or shuttles to get to work. Apparently the city told Facebook that it could not add additional employees unless that 35% was maintained!!!
When was this program initiated? Did the public know about it? Talk about a blatant attempt at stifling free enterprise to placate a favored neighborhood in the city.
This is another example of the city making outrageous demands of large institutions (Facebook, Stanford etc) that bring revenue and prestige to the city--talk about biting the hand that feeds you.
I guess if Facebook moves, College Terrace will expect those locations to remain empty and unused, in order to maintain their expectations of tranquility. After all a new company that moves in there will surely have employees that commute to work.
Posted by Too much of Too Much, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2011 at 4:12 pm
Too Much apparently hasn't noticed that Facebook is considering moving because it needs more space. He is so blinded by his own repetitions and hatreds that he loses track of the facts.
Facebook is overwhelmed by so much money and attention, they have to spend some of it. For those who value their privacy, Facebook's intrusion into our lives isn't welcome. And their takeover of the youth culture is ugly. Greed and ambition are ugly. I won't miss them.
Posted by Too Much Traffic, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm
"Too Much apparently hasn't noticed that Facebook is considering moving because it needs more space. He is so blinded by his own repetitions and hatreds that he loses track of the facts."
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. One of the reasons they may be moving may be the fact they need more space. Other reasons may be the constant flack from College Terrace and/or the restrictions placed on hiring new people by the city.
What I think you are missing is a constant pattern in Palo Alto--we ant business, tax revenue etc. in town, but we do not want to put it with what that entails. Yes, I have brought this matter up many times before--that of course does not mean that it is not an issue. Because of that I feel that it needs repeating. As for the "hatreds" comment--well, one only has to look, as an example, of how our city and it's leaders revolve around the wishes of one neighborhood. You may consider it "hatred", I consider it unfair to the other areas in town (btw--the issue of a north/south divide in Palo Alto has been around for years as well).
"For those who value their privacy, Facebook's intrusion into our lives isn't welcome. And their takeover of the youth culture is ugly. Greed and ambition are ugly. I won't miss them."
No one is forced to use Facebook. Obviously they are providing a product that people want, otherwise they would not be successful. By your definition ant and all successful companies are "greedy and ambitious". The fact that you will not miss them is your choice. However, I think that the cities pocketbooks will miss the influx of cash into Palo Alto from Facebook.
Finally, IMHO, the city needs to decide in what direction it wants to go. It is clear from your post, Too Much of Too much, what you would like the city to be.
Posted by It is obvious, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2011 at 6:15 pm
Why would Facebook want to move again after moving to college terrace a short time ago? Obviously they have experts that track growth and predict staffing needs. Facebook would not have moved to their current location knowing they would outgrow it in a year. So what is the real answer? Clearly facebook had had enough of palo alto and especially College Terrace, with their constant complaining and draconian regulations put in place to satisfy the insatiable desires of a neighborhood with a sense of entitlement.
Posted by It is obvious, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2011 at 7:06 pm
Why would facebook waste their time fighting college terrace.they are a company that is worth big bucks. It is more important to have a location where the company can flourish than to deal on a daily basis with the petty desires of a selfish neighborhood. Facebook will be the "wimp" that hurts palo alto where it counts- in the pocketbook.
Posted by anti-business city, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm
Palo Alto is simply business unfriendly. Not only did Facebook take flack from the neighbors but the city's antagonism to automobile traffic discourages business.
Most companies move to PA for convenience; it doesn't help that we have a City Council and Transportation Department that is narrowing down streets and actively saying they want to cut back on auto trips. How else are employees supposed to get to PA for work?
Have you noticed that neighboring cities are not following PAs anti-auto, bicycle only mentality, neither are they narrowing down their streets to discourage auto traffic because they want companies with their many employees to drive comfortably to their city.
Posted by Neighbor, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jan 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm
I do not believe the 3% vacancy in office space in PA because many of the commercial buildings around East Meadow Circle and Fabian Way are empty. So all the vacancies must be in that part of town only.
Posted by Victor, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jan 7, 2011 at 9:10 am
Does Palo Alto even have a large enough office park to fit Facebook (and a nice one I might add)? No, it's that simple - and the one they did is now Taube-Koret. So that's why they're moving to the old Sun HQ across 101 in East Menlo Park. Yeah, maybe it has partially to do with College Terrace, but hey -- Palo Alto doesnt have the space for the future growth of Facebook
Posted by Needs more space, a resident of another community, on Jan 7, 2011 at 9:20 am
I've been all through the Cal Ave building. The FB employees are crammed into every little corner. They simply need a bigger faclity.
The buildings at the corner of Hillview and Hanover would be a good choice. They were built about 10 years ago and have never had a tenant move in. If I remember correctly Goldman Sachs singed a 20 year lease.
Posted by robit noops, a resident of the Greenmeadow neighborhood, on Jan 7, 2011 at 4:02 pm
I think its sad to see them go, it will put a hurt on California Ave's revenue. The office space will now sit empty, because I doubt anyone has needs to occupy it, and it will be the same story of another successful business leaving Palo Alto.
Posted by It is obvious, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Jan 7, 2011 at 4:48 pm
Robit noops-yes the space will probably sit empty and college terrace will be thrilled.i am sure balin and barker will be raising a glass soon to toast another success for our most influential neighborhood.
Posted by maguro_01, a resident of Mountain View, on Jan 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm
It should be noted that the value of the buildings to be vacated must now be nearly zero since their reoccupancy is hardly possible, and ditto for many other commercial buildings in Palo Alto. Perhaps in some cases the owners of these buildings can recover from the city or individuals.
Posted by James, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Jan 8, 2011 at 8:36 pm
Hey remember the deal the city of PA made with Stanford a couple of years ago? The new city soccer fields, and if I remember Stanford has the goahead to teardown that old Facebook building, and some others, and develop housing. That makes much more fiscal sense than paying for empty office spaces........so maybe that's our new direction without Facebookers streaming around the neighborhood...
Posted by palo altan, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Jan 8, 2011 at 9:16 pm
i am a resident of the college terrace neighborhood, and i just want to say, i love having facebook right next door. in addition to the thrill i always get when i see mark zuckerburg walking around the neighborhood, it is really great to have such a famous, vibrant, dynamic, forward-thinking company so close by. besides the early parking issues, we have had no significant negative interactions with the facebook people, and i know i am not the only one with this opinion, so stop hating on college terrace.