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Facebook expansion could relieve parking woes

Plan to shift half of employees to other building to improve flow of traffic, people

Facebook plans to shift nearly 500 employees from its California Avenue headquarters at Stanford Research Park to its new 265,000 square-foot building at 1050 Page Mill Road, a company spokesman told residents in an e-mail on Friday.

In doing so, parking woes plaguing its neighbors in the adjacent College Terrace neighborhood since the company moved in could be relieved, according to spokesman Larry Yu.

Half of Facebook's existing workforce would be closer to an underutilized parking lot the company already rents from Stanford University.

Facebook announced rental of the Page Mill Road building, formerly home to Beckman Coulter, in December. The new facility will supplement the 200,000-plus square-foot headquarters Facebook moved into in May 2009. That building is located at 1601 California Ave.

Renovations are in the works and the company expects the new complex to be ready this spring, Yu said.

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Yu said the company expects more employees to use the lot at the new building, which will free up many parking spaces at headquarters on California Avenue. Between the lots at these two buildings and additional parking leased at 1501 California Ave., company officials think all Facebook employees who drive to the office will be able to park their cars in these lots, he said.

Residents living along upper California Avenue have complained about side streets packed with employees' cars and noisy shuttle buses, which workers were supposed to take from the lower rented parking lot to the California Avenue headquarters.

Officials at Stanford University, which owns the research park, acknowledged previously that Facebook grew much faster than anticipated.

"We should see fewer employees driving on California Avenue between Hanover and Amherst streets, and there will be ample parking for visitors and employees at each of our buildings," Yu said.

Facebook plans to monitor traffic and parking needs at each complex as the company grows during 2010 and beyond, Yu said.

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Facebook has provided shuttles and Caltrain passes to encourage employees to leave vehicles at home. The company will consider modifying or expanding transportation and parking alternatives as need arises.

"For example, we received feedback that the buses used for the shuttle service were rather noisy, so we're planning to phase in vans to replace the buses. These smaller, quieter vehicles should reduce noise from the shuttle service," Yu said.

Brent Barker, College Terrace Residents' Association research park observer, said residents feel "a sense of relief" that some of the burden will be shifted away from their streets and at the new building's parking lot.

"I don't know if people have digested what it means to have this other building. It holds a lot of promise to relieve congestion," he said.

Confining vehicles to the three lots and reducing noise with quieter shuttles will be welcomed, he said. Buses currently run every five to 10 minutes from the lower rental parking lot to the upper campus, but residents have said there were few takers.

"It was discouraging to have the bus rattle by with only one person in it," he said.

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Facebook expansion could relieve parking woes

Plan to shift half of employees to other building to improve flow of traffic, people

by / Palo Alto Online

Uploaded: Fri, Jan 8, 2010, 8:07 pm
Updated: Mon, Jan 11, 2010, 8:33 am

Facebook plans to shift nearly 500 employees from its California Avenue headquarters at Stanford Research Park to its new 265,000 square-foot building at 1050 Page Mill Road, a company spokesman told residents in an e-mail on Friday.

In doing so, parking woes plaguing its neighbors in the adjacent College Terrace neighborhood since the company moved in could be relieved, according to spokesman Larry Yu.

Half of Facebook's existing workforce would be closer to an underutilized parking lot the company already rents from Stanford University.

Facebook announced rental of the Page Mill Road building, formerly home to Beckman Coulter, in December. The new facility will supplement the 200,000-plus square-foot headquarters Facebook moved into in May 2009. That building is located at 1601 California Ave.

Renovations are in the works and the company expects the new complex to be ready this spring, Yu said.

Yu said the company expects more employees to use the lot at the new building, which will free up many parking spaces at headquarters on California Avenue. Between the lots at these two buildings and additional parking leased at 1501 California Ave., company officials think all Facebook employees who drive to the office will be able to park their cars in these lots, he said.

Residents living along upper California Avenue have complained about side streets packed with employees' cars and noisy shuttle buses, which workers were supposed to take from the lower rented parking lot to the California Avenue headquarters.

Officials at Stanford University, which owns the research park, acknowledged previously that Facebook grew much faster than anticipated.

"We should see fewer employees driving on California Avenue between Hanover and Amherst streets, and there will be ample parking for visitors and employees at each of our buildings," Yu said.

Facebook plans to monitor traffic and parking needs at each complex as the company grows during 2010 and beyond, Yu said.

Facebook has provided shuttles and Caltrain passes to encourage employees to leave vehicles at home. The company will consider modifying or expanding transportation and parking alternatives as need arises.

"For example, we received feedback that the buses used for the shuttle service were rather noisy, so we're planning to phase in vans to replace the buses. These smaller, quieter vehicles should reduce noise from the shuttle service," Yu said.

Brent Barker, College Terrace Residents' Association research park observer, said residents feel "a sense of relief" that some of the burden will be shifted away from their streets and at the new building's parking lot.

"I don't know if people have digested what it means to have this other building. It holds a lot of promise to relieve congestion," he said.

Confining vehicles to the three lots and reducing noise with quieter shuttles will be welcomed, he said. Buses currently run every five to 10 minutes from the lower rental parking lot to the upper campus, but residents have said there were few takers.

"It was discouraging to have the bus rattle by with only one person in it," he said.

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