Facebook partnership to build 394 Menlo Park apartments

Complex will include 15 below-market-rate units

One question that quickly arose when Facebook decided to relocate to and then expand in Menlo Park was, "What about employee housing?"

Facebook answered that question on Tuesday (Oct. 1) by announcing its partnership with St. Anton, a real estate developer, to build a 394-unit apartment complex on 10 acres of land off Marsh Road.

The complex will include 15 affordable housing units that will be income-restricted for 55 years and indistinguishable from other apartments at Anton Menlo, Facebook said.

Construction of the $120 million, approximately 630,000-square-foot project should start in October, according to Facebook, and finish within two years.

Tech companies are known for the amenities provided on campus for employees; in this case, Anton Menlo extends that off campus. The project will offer everything from a convenience store and a sports pub to a bike repair shop and doggy daycare. Public transport will be accessible via bike and pedestrian connections to the Bay Trail, on-site shuttles and new sidewalks and crosswalks along nearby Haven Avenue.

"We are thrilled to have new housing options coming to the City of Menlo Park to serve the Silicon Valley and the Marsh Road and Willow Road business areas," said Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki in a press release. "Providing new housing opportunities for employees working in the area will allow people to live where they work and to spend more time enjoying this great city."


Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 2, 2013 at 10:40 am

How about a simple map showing location. "10 acres of land off Marsh Road" is insufficient.

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo res
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:03 am

Haven / Marsh

Like this comment
Posted by Ken
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:08 am

Agree with David- this article is seriously missing a map.

Like this comment
Posted by David Crabbe
a resident of another community
on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:18 am

Why only 15 affordable units? Surely, many of Facebook's employees cannot afford $3,000 + rent. Where is the affordable housing in Menlo Park? Is the only option for less affluent employees to move to Union City and commute in adding to traffic congestion and air pollution?

Like this comment
Posted by Less than 4% Affordable housing. Really?!
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:26 am

Seriously? Only 15 units of affordable housing out of 396 units?! Less than four percent is PATHETIC. I bet 30% of Facebook employees (ground workers, janitors, administrative assistants and other low-paid employees) could use more lower cost housing.

Up this to 30% affordable housing and Menlo Park might have a decent deal. Mr. Mayor, it is WAY too soon in the process to be cheerleading for the developer if you want to get any decent mitigations and affordable housing out of the project for the City of Menlo Park.

And, yes, a map would be helpful.

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Posted by Chris Gaither
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 2, 2013 at 11:49 am

Read today's Daily News article about this proposal if you want more accurate details about this new proposed project. The site is on Haven across from Carlsen Porsche - I was just there a few weeks ago en-route to a class. The land was recently sold. This area of Menlo Park will be significantly upgraded with this project. Once you read The Daily News article you will realize that the developer is also adding 38 units of affordable housing to the mix, in addition to Facebook's required amount of BMR units.

Like this comment
Posted by Sounds like...
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 2, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Facebook is beginning to sound like Raychem. ( Newark, CA was known as the Raychem ghetto). Or worse, like Sony, in Japan ( apts for workers....also requires permission from boss to marry, weddings must be held in the Sony chapel),

What's next, a company store?

Like this comment
Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 2, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Sounds like--- sounds like you do not know what you are talking about. When was Newark known as the raychem ghetto? We're do you get your facts about Sony?
Sounds like you are jealous of Facebook and what they are trying to do.

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Posted by Matt
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Anybody who lives in a BMR(Below Market Rate) units knows it sucks. Every year rents goes up until your no longer able to live in the unit. BMR is a sham. Section 8 vouchers are the best. Hopefully people can use vouchers to get into these units.

Like this comment
Posted by anon
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 4, 2013 at 3:28 am

It's my understanding that affordable housing works better when it's integrated in the community like that, where no one really knows who is or not. Concentrating affordable housing creates stigma, or a sense of stigma among residents even if it doesn't come from the community. So this is actually how it should be done - am I right that this is 38 units plus 15 or just 38 instead of 15?

"Anybody who lives in a BMR(Below Market Rate) units knows it sucks."

The trouble is that - and correct me if I'm wrong - it's harder to ensure that section 8 properties don't get converted to market rate.

When I went to the Maybell meetings at City Hall, it was surreal to be approached by people from BMR housing who seemed like they wanted someone to hear their complaints. Unfortunately, I had no power to help anyone. I don't think you're going to get any help at City Hall right now, either.

If you and other people you know have something to say, probably the best person to talk to is Sue Dremann at the Weekly. And the legal clinic at Stanford? What I heard at the Maybell mtgs was a lot of landlord tenant stuff that needed addressing, and where the people I spoke with didn't feel like they had the right to complain because their units were BMR. Or they felt like they had to be at the meeting in order to get the care due to them under the law.

Like this comment
Posted by JoAnn
a resident of Ventura
on Feb 5, 2014 at 1:44 am

Will these apartments be available only to Facebook employees? The article doesn't indicate. In either case it will be a useful addition to the housing in the area. If it isn't a built-to-the-sidewalk monstrosity.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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