http://paloaltoonline.com/square/print/index.php?i=3&d=&t=3380


Town Square

Downtown gets boost from Facebook influx

Original post made on Feb 27, 2008

Those kids strolling the streets of downtown Palo Alto in matching track jackets aren't on the same sports team. They're the young army of Web firm Facebook, hundreds of employees that local workers and business owners say have become a dominant presence, boosting sales and rental prices.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 11:44 AM

Comments

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 27, 2008 at 12:25 pm

I am pleased to have Facebook and their staff in downtown. It is good to see such a positive influence on our own young people. Welcome and hope you are here to stay.


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Posted by Paly grad
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 27, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Thanks for making it unaffordable to live in my own hometown guys.


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Posted by What Goes Up Must Come Down
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2008 at 4:50 am

And what happens when Facebook decides to move somewhere else?


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Posted by Eric
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2008 at 6:12 am

At some point Facebook like GOOGLE will want to consolidate all their employees in one central location. When that day comes they will move out of PA to another City that has the office space to accommodate them. Then see a glut of empty office spaces Downtown, lower rents and more housing stock for rent. This will not last forever!!


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2008 at 8:47 am

Eric

Your comment would make sense, except that Facebook has given incentives to employees who live within walking distance of their office. For this reason, it would be extremely hard for them to decide to move out of PA as then they would expect all their employees to move house? No, I expect at somestate they will want to consolidate but I expect they will want to remain in PA. Keep an eye on any large empty buildings near the downtown area. They will probably try to demolish and rebuild.


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Posted by Palo Alto way
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2008 at 8:56 am

Well it won;t be that easy to "demolish and rebuild". First of all we have to make sure that the buildings are not historic. Then the Planning and Transportation Committee will have to nitpick the plans for a few years. Then the Architectural Review Board will nix the plans, since they never like anything that is proposed. So if facebook wants to build anything in Palo Alto and have it ready by 2020, they need to start now.


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 28, 2008 at 8:57 am

Those "kids" will move out when people realize that facebook is just the next myspace.


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Posted by Smart
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 28, 2008 at 9:01 am

Joanna, thanks for your trenchant insight - what are those VCs thinking?


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 28, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Hi Smartypants!

Your phrase implies that you have complete faith in VCs and that they have good judgement more often than not. This leads me to believe that you don't know the ratio of winning investments to losing investments of the VC world (worse than 1 to 10). I will further assume that you blindly believe that facebook is worth the $15b that zuckerman says it is worth. VCs aren't gods, buddy.


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Posted by Smart
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 28, 2008 at 3:41 pm

They might be wrong - but I think more likely you are ;-) FB has a bunch of technology underpinning that is stronger and more enabling than MS. It may be that it just comes and goes, but I doubt it at this point.


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Posted by No-Such-Thing-As-A-Free-Lunch
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 28, 2008 at 4:32 pm

If any of these offices are on the ground floor, this will not allow for Retail stores to occupy this space--which means that the City will be denied much needed sales tax revenue.


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 28, 2008 at 5:02 pm

I have no doubt you believe that. Good luck with that.

Free Lunch,
I agree that we need more retail spaces in downtown. Any non-retail businesses, hyped baloney or not, should limit themselves to second floors or the like. As it is, we have to travel outside of PA to do most of our shopping.


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Posted by Fbomb
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Feb 28, 2008 at 7:56 pm

How are they going to commodify their product? And don't tell me adverts bc they're not nearly on the level of $15 billion EV...seems like a load of #### to me...

it's a great distraction though.


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Posted by Alex Christenson
a resident of Hoover School
on Feb 28, 2008 at 9:07 pm

What's facebook?

Shit what neighborhood do I live in?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2008 at 9:06 am

Joanna

I am not sure what sort of retail you think may use downtown Palo Alto ground floor space, but I can't imagine what would appear there that may make me shop in Palo Alto rather than the stores I use all the time, Costo, Target, Mervyns, etc. Palo Alto shopping is a joke.


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Posted by Eric
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 29, 2008 at 11:52 am

Resident: Reminder, Palo Alto was GOOGLE's first choice for office space. Mountain View was the nearest location they could find with sufficient space available, and more importantly give them room to grow.

If Facebook continues to grow, they will grow out of all their rented offices in Downtown PA, and move further south. Since most of their employees are young and probably rent it will be easy for them to move also.


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Posted by w
a resident of Meadow Park
on Feb 29, 2008 at 12:41 pm

with the ''jail lockdown'' of downtown at night,with police cruising looking for errant skateboarders, its quite an ''ambience''.


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Posted by Eric
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Feb 29, 2008 at 12:54 pm

My schools Web journalism program did a story about cyberbullying on facebook. Its really interesting to hear the what students have to say.

Web Link


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Posted by Clarification
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Mar 1, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Eric, that was actually written by your school's newspaper (The Campanile), not the Web journalism program (Voice).

Just giving credit where it's due.


FB may have some neat technology, but at the end of the day it's simply a social networking site that's largely used by teenagers. Teens NEVER stick to one thing for long. They're always looking for something else. The minute FB has a legitimate competitor, it will begin losing traffic - fast.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 1, 2008 at 7:19 pm

Facebook is changing. It is beginning to get used by parents who want to check up into what their kids are doing and then they start finding out about their old college and high school friends. When the teens start leaving it will be the parents who keep it going, using it as a find old friends service.

Hope this is not going to be the death of its use by teens.


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Mar 2, 2008 at 12:41 am

Dear Clarification,

Well put.

The house of cards is going to fall soon.

I'm just glad that facebook isn't carving their logo into any stone. That will look as silly as a pets.com logo or a ubid.com logo in stone.


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Posted by k
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 2, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Yes, it will be interesting to see if FB is another pets.com! Do they have luxury offices too?