Facebook completes move from Palo Alto to Menlo Park

Summary:Facebook no longer operates out of Palo Alto, California. Instead, the company's official headquarters is located at 1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94205. It currently houses 2,000 employees.

As expected, Facebook today completed its big move from Palo Alto, California, to Menlo Park, California. 1 Hacker Way (or rather 1601 Willow Road, as you can see above) is now officially the social networking giant's new headquarters. There is no formal opening event: this week is business as usual at Facebook, keeping the upcoming holiday season in mind, of course.

The transfer was spread across three separate stages. The first, consisting of about 500 employees, started in mid-August. Over the last two weeks the remaining employees moved, including the engineering teams, the design team, and many executives. More specifically, the second wave was two weekends ago and the third wave was this past weekend.

Facebook has operated out of Palo Alto since June 2004, four months after the company was founded in Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard University dorm room. In February 2011, Facebook announced plans to move to Menlo Park so that it could have more room for its quickly growing number of employees. The social networking giant signed a 15-year lease on the old Sun Microsystems campus, and renamed the ring road around the East Campus "Hacker Way" from Sun's previous "Network Circle."

The ten building, 1-million square foot campus currently has around 2,000 local employees. That's not enough though. Facebook is also building a second campus across the street and joining the two with an underground tunnel. Ultimately, the company wants to be able to house 9,400 employees. That means, Facebook hopes up to 6,600 workers will occupy the nine-building East Campus (57 acres) and as many as 2,800 workers will be in the five-building West Campus (22 acres). A tunnel under Highway 84 will connect the two campuses.

Here are a few more tidbits about the new campus:

  • The hallways are lined with chalkboard paint and a box of chalk has been placed on everyone's desk so that employees can put up posters and scribbling ideas on the walls.
  • The ductwork along the high-ceilinged corridors has been exposed to give the place an unfinished feel and "remind us that our work is never done."
  • There are no private offices or cubicles: walls were torn down so that everyone could sit out in the open with their teams.
  • Hundreds of conference rooms and spaces filled with couches and brightly colored chairs have been scattered throughout the buildings.
  • Every conference room features a glass wall or panel so that you can quickly see what's going on inside.
  • The whole campus is connected through a central courtyard, currently filled with bulldozers and dirt, but eventually it will have two full-service cafes, two coffee shops, on-site doctors, a fitness center, and much more.
  • Other perks like free dry cleaning and endless snacks in will be offered in the micro-kitchens.
  • There isn't a single new door on the campus: they've all been recycled from those used by predecessors.
  • A robust transportation program provides alternatives to single-car commuting, including free shuttles from the surrounding areas, vanpools, bicycles, and a partnership with social ride sharing service Zimride.
  • Over 47 percent of Facebook employees use one of these programs and the company doesn't plan on adding a single new parking space to the existing campus even as it grows.

"When it comes down to it, our campus doesn't define us," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "Whether we're in a small office in Palo Alto or a ten building campus in Menlo Park, we're still the same company at our core. But I hope this building will serve us well as we continue on our mission to make the world more open and connected."

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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