Palo Alto Becomes Facebookplex?

    August 8, 2007

We’ve posted about Facebook’s skyrocketing ad rates, about its growing user base, and now there’s news about the company expanding in a physical sense, as well.  This only makes sense, I suppose, but it’s apparently having quite an effect on the surrounding city.

Palo Alto Becomes Facebookplex?
Palo Alto Becomes Facebookplex?

First, to define Facebook’s unofficial campus.  “In addition to their main offices at 156 University Avenue and 164 Hamilton Ave, they recently opened up a third office across the street at 151 University, and will expand into another building on Hamilton sometime this fall,” reports Valleywag’s Megan McCarthy.

With Facebook’s (presumably) deep pockets, that’s driving up costs; McCarthy notes, “office rents on the Peninsula have jumped 13 percent last quarter and 39 percent over last year.”  And because “[e]very Facebook employee living within a mile of the offices receives a $600 monthly stipend,” it’s not just office buildings that may be growing more expensive.  After all, couldn’t you handle swapping your commute for a large sum of cash?

Still, it seems that Facebook’s presence is causing a lot of traffic issues.  “Parking has always been scarce in downtown Palo Alto and Facebook has not made that situation any easier,” writes McCarthy.  “There is a six-to-eight week waiting list for parking passes issued by the city government, and, until a new employee receives that pass, he or she either parks in surrounding residential areas or moves the car every two hours. . . .  Jim Merryman, Facebook’s director of real estate, recently joked that parking tickets from Facebook employees were a boon to [the] local economy.”

Hmmm.  I don’t think Facebook’s got anything quite like the Googleplex, but just as Google is synonymous with Mountain View, it appears that Facebook and Palo Alto are merging.