Facebook has agreed to pay Menlo Park, Calif., $1.5 million over the next 10 years as part of a deal to expand into a "West Campus" across Bayfront Expressway from its headquarters.
Under terms of an agreement that goes to the Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday, the social network company also would contribute $100,000 for local improvements and restrict the number of vehicles going in and out of the new campus.
Facebook moved from Palo Alto to the former Sun Microsystems campus just east of the Bayfront Expressway-Willow Road intersection in mid-2011 and now is preparing to build a new facility designed by celebrated architect Frank Gehry on a 22-acre parcel at the former Tyco Electronics site.
The proposed agreement also guarantees that Facebook would deliver on some of the commitments it made to the city in early 2012, should it decide to vacate its current headquarters, known as the East Campus, after opening the new buildings. Among other things, Facebook had agreed to pay the city $15.1 million over 15 years in exchange for permission to accommodate up to 6,600 employees there.
Even if Facebook eventually abandons its current headquarters, the latest agreement would hold it to a $500,000 contribution to a local charity fund (the company recently decided to kick in an additional $100,000); set up a job-training program; help fill Menlo Park's gap in the region's Bay Trail project; and establish a local environmental education program.
A design for the new West Campus, unveiled in August, shows a long, single-story building that encompasses about 10 acres and has a roof covered with trees. The building would connect with Facebook's East Campus via an underground tunnel. The company said it plans to put about 2,800 employees on the West Campus.
In addition to the proposed development agreement, a letter to the city from John Tenanes, Facebook's global real estate director, notes that the company is also providing $4.5 million in below-market-rate housing fees, $1.3 million in a traffic impact fee and $1.1 million for a street repair fee.
The West Campus project will "redevelop a long-idle site through the construction of a truly iconic, cutting edge, sustainable building, designed by world famous architect Frank Gehry," Tenanes wrote.
Approval of the new campus entails rezoning the site, allowing the removal of some heritage trees and signing off an addendum to an environmental impact report already approved for the second site before a new building design is announced, according to a staff memo.
The project itself goes before the planning commission on Feb. 25 and then to the council on March 19, according to the memo.
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