Facebook Will Build Its Kingdom
The social network is considering building its own town so its employees never have to leave work. The campus in Menlo Park will include a $120 million, 394-unit housing community within walking distance of its offices. Dubbed Anton Menlo, the 630,000 square-foot rental property is supposed to include a sports bar and a day care for pet dogs.Media reports admit that the move towards a 24-hour work lifestyle is new, even for Silicon Valley. The social network insists that employee retention is not a major factor in the plan. Instead, it is a great idea to have more housing options closer to campus. Facebook believes that people will want to live there because they believe in the company’s mission.
The sources revealed that there will be many amenities on the site, including cafes, a store, a sports pub, bike repair shop with onsite storage, pool, spas, and gyms. This move may fix some of the company’s accommodation problems for workers. Indeed, a housing shortage is reported in Menlo Park and some employees couldn’t find places to stay near the corporate campus.
In the meantime, the industry experts point out that in many ways the move is turning the clock back. America had its “company towns” at the turn of the 20th century – the US factory workers were living in communities owned by their employer and provided housing, health care, law enforcement, church and just about every other service necessary. But the drawback is that your life becomes the company, and this is why the 20th century company towns died out.
This move means that employees will always be working. Only 10% of Facebook’s employees will be housed on-site. Apparently, there will not be too many families. The housing will go for market rates, with some being set aside for low-income staff.