In February 2011, Facebook announced plans to move from its headquarters in Palo Alto, California, to Menlo Park, California. The company made the decision so that it could have more room for its quickly growing number of employees, but already it is predicting the need for yet another campus.
In April 2011, Facebook had over 2,000 employees across offices in 15 countries. The estimate for Palo Alto is somewhere around 1,500 employees. Ultimately, Facebook wants approval from Menlo Park to house 9,400 employees.
The first Facebook employees are just getting settled at the new campus, but the social networking giant is already talking about expanding. In fact, Facebook has filed plans to build a second campus across the street from the complex it acquired from Sun Microsystems. Construction is slated for early 2013.
Justin Murphy, development services manager for Menlo Park, told Mercury News that Facebook has notified the city that it could hit 3,600 employees by mid-2012. Sun was prohibited from having more than 3,600 employees in the building because of traffic concerns, but Facebook said it will incorporate a strict commuting policy and add buses to accommodate the city and its expanding workforce.
Eventually, 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 (bottom right in the picture above) will connect the two Facebook campuses. Facebook has already renamed the ring road around the East Campus "Hacker Way" from Sun's previous "Network Circle."
The plans for the new West Campus buildings remain conceptual and Facebook is "not yet asking for the approval for these buildings," Murphy said. "While the locations of the buildings and the related infrastructure have been outlined, we are still working on the final design and are excited about the potential for the site," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.
To get approval for almost 10,000 workers at the Menlo Park complex, Facebook will need to tie the size of its permitted workforce to the number of rush-hour vehicle trips to the site. In other words, the company will have to offer a similar system to the extensive worker transportation network it currently does in Palo Alto. "It's something they would have to continue to do as they move to Menlo Park," Murphy said.
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