Facebook Headquarters is expanding. The company asked iconic architect Frank Gehry to design its expansion of the company’s West Campus in Menlo Park—in the heart of Silicon Valley.
The design calls for a 73-foot high 433,555-square-foot building with a surface-level parking lot.
But, all good architectural plans evidentially hit a snag when city building planners have their say. You see, the City of Menlo Park must like approve the plans for the new headquarters.
And like all good City Planners, these folks had some suggestions. Reportedly they asked the designer—known for outrageous buildings like the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; and Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles to tone down the design a bit, and make the building more “anonymous” according to Gehry’s creative partner Craig Webb.
They also asked Facebook to agree to a laundry list of concessions in order to win approval. The list goes to show you what hoops corporations must go through to get approval for a building having significant impact on a community like Menlo Park:
- Building 15 low-cost homes or contributing $4.5 million toward affordable housing.
- Paying the city $1.5 million over a 10-year period.
- Adding $100,000 for local improvements.
- Restricting the number of vehicles that can enter and leave the new campus.
- Paying at least $194,000 per year in property taxes.
- Creating a $500,000 charitable foundation.
- Setting up a job-training program.
- Helping to fill Menlo Park’s gap in the region’s Bay Trail project.
- Establishing a local environmental education program.
- Making a onetime payment of $350,000 to the neighboring city of Atherton as compensation for the increased traffic at the intersection of Marsh and Middlefield roads, located about five miles from the social network’s headquarters.
- Cleaning up soil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxic chemicals.