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Facebook Envisions New Campus With Affordable Housing Units (sfgate.com) 123

An anonymous reader writes: "In a few years, families could be living at Facebook," quips CNET. The Bay Area Newsgroup reports that Facebook is proposing a new campus with facilities open to the public "to address long-neglected community needs and to accommodate its burgeoning workforce." But the San Francisco Chronicle sees more than just new buildings. "Implicit in the tech company's announcement is Facebook's belief that it can solve some of the area's most pressing issues, including traffic congestion, demand for affordable housing and a lack of transit options. By opening the campus and some of its facilities to the public, Facebook is also heading off a common criticism lobbed at wealthy tech firms: that they move into cities, drive up the cost of living, displace area residents and then do little to give back."

Facebook will offer 15% of the housing -- about 225 units -- at "below market rates." They're also promising to invest tens of millions of dollars in improvements to nearby Highway 101 and to "catalyze regional transit investment," according to Facebook's vice president of global facilities and real estate. The Chronicle notes that the campus's open-to-the-public pharmacy and grocery store "would also solve the issue of a lack of food retailers in that part of the city, where the nearest large store is a Safeway 4 miles away -- a trip that can take up to 40 minutes during rush hour, according to Google Maps."

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Facebook Envisions New Campus With Affordable Housing Units

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  • Bringing back the company town [pbs.org].
    • It's probably an inevitable [re-]development if we don't reject corporatism wholesale. If the corporations have all the money, nobody else will be able to afford to build housing.

      I, for one, will happily pat Zuckerberg on the back if Facebook actually does "invest tens of millions of dollars in improvements to nearby Highway 101" because nearby Highway 101 is fucking destroyed. Unfortunately, I think it would probably cost at least hundreds of millions if not several billions in today's money to actually ge

      • nearby Highway 101 is fucking destroyed.

        Drinkypoo, it sounds like you live there. I'm getting ready to move to San Luis Obispo next month. Anything I should know about the area? One weird trick for living on the Central Coast?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Firestone Walker brew pub in Paso Robles. Montana de Osos State Park. Los Osos. Morro Bay, Cayucos Beach, Elephant Seals at San Simeon (and Hearst Castle). All this close to SLO. Of course there is Cal Poly. Lot's going on.

        • Well, I'm from Santa Cruz, but I'm living in Kelseyville, which is uh... quite a downgrade, and also far away from there. But congrats on moving out of the armpit. I've actually never been to SLO, but a lot of my friends seem to like it.

    • Bringing back the company town [pbs.org].

      I prefer to think of it as the rise of the mega-corp arcologies that I was promised in a cyberpunk future.

  • Too Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OYAHHH ( 322809 ) on Saturday July 08, 2017 @02:55PM (#54770297) Homepage

    The Brainiacs over at Facebook aren't smart enough to think of perhaps putting a new facility in a different town that isn't already congested.

    • by OYAHHH ( 322809 )

      I mean we have the "Bullet Train' being built. Put Facebook out in Bakersfield and let FB employees commute from Silicon Valley to Bakersfield. Isn't that one of the selling points of the bullet train?

  • What does it mean? That the companies should somehow develop public infrastructures?
    Call me old fashioned, but I think that's the job of the town halls, of course they should pay property and land taxes that would allow said town halls to do their job.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Call me old fashioned, but I expect companies to invest heavily in things like power plants, roads, housing, and whatever else they need.
      That's how it went in the old days. These days you have countries building this stuff to attract business.

  • Those renderings have a Georges Seurat vibe [staticflickr.com], no?

  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Saturday July 08, 2017 @03:21PM (#54770411) Homepage Journal

    This feels like what some companies already do in China, except there it tends to be more in the form of dormitories. At the same it could be an interesting idea for other companies, as a way of reducing commute times. One company that I am thinking about is Apple with their new mega campus.

    One of the things that put some people off working for these large companies is spending two hours in traffic, instead of 10 minutes using less stressful transportation, such as foot, bicycle or bus/train. Not everyone needs or wants a house, but may be happy living in an apartment with services near by.

  • By signing up for Facebook, you surrender your identity as it is - maybe this is to take it to the next level. They will stream everything these people do for our entertainment. That's the price they would have to pay to live there.
  • by Arbitary5664 ( 1979712 ) on Saturday July 08, 2017 @03:55PM (#54770561)
    Pretty sure that's getting closer to the definition of slavery. Maybe then they'll lower your wage so you cannot afford to leave, just like they did in the past.
    • If Facebook does this it would have to be highly regulated to protect people. If my company did this, I would not accept the housing. Can I get my annual raise? Sorry, rent control means we can't raise housing costs as much as we'd like so no raise. I quit! You are also homeless. I'm fired? You are also homeless. Here is my letter of resignation, effective in two weeks as expected. You are homeless as of right now, but good luck to you.

      Considering there is no regulation and no discussion of such, th

      • There are a lot of tenant protection laws. I'd imagine it's far more likely to be "I'm giving two week notice." "Okay, well, I expect you to vacate your apartment in [minimum legal time, but probably 1 month\"

  • Facebook is also heading off a common criticism lobbed at wealthy tech firms: that they move into cities, drive up the cost of living, displace area residents and then do little to give back.

    They wouldn't displace area residents if city boards would allow more housing to be built. The cities invite the tech companies (because they want the tax revenue) then don't allow more housing to be built. It is all rather predictable.

  • to the company store!

    Everything old is new again. sigh

  • Thanks Zuckerberg......like this is really something the Western world needed reviving.

  • It's got a nice ring to it, no?

  • Each wall is retrofitted with giant screens and you pay by watching ads, which lights are powered by our students on bicycles.
  • Mark Zukerberg wants college votes in 2020
  • This isn't new. The town of Hershey PA is a factory town built by Milton's desire to leave a crazy legacy. I'm surprised a billionaire like Zuckerberg hasn't incorporated a town in his name yet.

  • Here! We'll "let" you live in housing we create! You can live here, work here! Oh, by the way, we'll CHARGE you 2-3 times normal, so basically you'll be a slave! Congrats!
  • History has shown us that things get bad when the boss also owns your home (and your grocery, and your car, hell even your whole town!). It's as bad as state owned everything.

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