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08 July 2017

Facebook plans to build its own IRL town with homes, offices, and a grocery store

Facebooktown.
Facebooktown.

Image: Shutterstock / wernimages

Facebook isn’t content with just governing everything you do online. The social networking giant announced plans this week to turn part of its Menlo Park, California property into a “mixed-use village” that’ll be like its own town. 

The property at Facebook’s corporate headquarters will contain a grocery store, a pharmacy, housing, office space, and other services that people usually access in their own, non-Zuckerberg-controlled towns.  

“Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services,” said a post on the Facebook Community page. 

Facebook intends to file its plan with Menlo Park this month. The company expects the review process to last two years, and for construction to follow in phases. The first set of stores, housing, and office space could be completed in 2021. 

In part, this ambitious plan is meant to combat housing crisis in and around San Francisco, where supply is low and prices are sky-high. Facebook’s campus will contain 1,500 housing units, and 15 percent of those will be available at below-market rates, the company said. 

The housing is then meant to spur development in transportation. Population density at Facebook would “support new east-west connections and a future transit center,” Facebook said. 

The company is calling this project Willow Campus. It sounds like either the future, or a major blast to the coal mining towns of the past. 

“This is only the beginning. Going forward, we plan to continue to work closely with local leaders and community members to ensure Facebook’s presence is a benefit to the community. It’s one we’re lucky to call home,” Facebook’s post said. 

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