Town Square

Post a New Topic

Facebook moving to Menlo Park--College Terrace happy

Original post made by Too Much Traffic, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2011

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.

Comments (19)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by whiner on whiner
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2011 at 11:27 am

One whiner whining about other whiners.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Too Much Traffic
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2011 at 11:28 am

whiner on whiner--thanks for your insightful comments.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2011 at 12:14 pm

TMT is usually too subtle with his sarcasm and many don't get the truth in what he says. This time he is spot on. I agree.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by whiner on whiner
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2011 at 12:41 pm

There is a difference between sarcasm and whining. This is the latter.


 +   Like this comment
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.


 +   Like this comment
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.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by It is obvious
a resident of Charleston Gardens
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.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm

"Clearly facebook had had enough of palo alto and especially College Terrace"

Uh huh, I can just see the WSJ headline: "$50 billion corporation says Uncle to little Palo Alto neighborhood without even a fight"

Face it, oblivious - if you're right, Facebook is a wimp, and it needs all the help you can give it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by It is obvious
a resident of Charleston Gardens
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.


 +   Like this comment
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.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Meadow Park
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.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Victor
a resident of Charleston Gardens
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


 +   Like this comment
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.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by common sense
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 7, 2011 at 11:27 am

Additional space can be found in the former Roche/Syntex part of the Industrial Park, as well as the empty buildings mentioned by a previous poster at the corner of Hillview & Hanover.

Just about every technology company when they reach a certain size will distribute their facilities for a variety of reasons (Cisco, Google, etc), and Facebook is certainly beyond that size.

College Terrace has had the following:

1) Traffic barriers (remember what happened when Downtown North wanted them)?

2) Parking Permit system (no other neighborhood, like Professorville, University South or Downtown North has this, even though their parking problems are just as bad).

3) Special variance for the former JJ&F market/office building

4) Special restrictions for car trips on Facebook.

No doubt the California Ave retailers & restraurants will see the effect of the Facebook moving to Menlo Park, and the city should revise their sales tax revenue projections.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by robit noops
a resident of Greenmeadow
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.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by It is obvious
a resident of Charleston Gardens
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.


 +   Like this comment
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.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of College Terrace
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...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by palo altan
a resident of College Terrace
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.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Cho's, beloved dim sum spot, to reopen in Los Altos
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 5,508 views

Where DO The Elite Meet?
By Laura Stec | 3 comments | 2,731 views

Why I Became Active in Palo Alto Forward
By Steve Levy | 10 comments | 2,087 views

Guest Post from HSSV: Adopt a Naughty Dog!
By Cathy Kirkman | 1 comment | 1,397 views

First Interview
By Sally Torbey | 5 comments | 683 views