News

Menlo Park: Environmental report released on Facebook's expansion plans

 

An environmental review says that Facebook's plan to build three 75-foot-tall buildings, adding 962,400 square feet at two proposed office buildings and 174,800 square feet at a 200-room hotel, plus 3,533 parking spots, could have some impacts determined to be "significant and unavoidable."

The new buildings would be constructed at the current 58-acre TE Connectivity location – bounded roughly by Constitution Drive, Chilco Street and Bayfront Expressway – after what's currently there is demolished. Compared with what exists there now, the new development would add 121,300 square feet of space.

The new office buildings, combined, could accommodate about 6,400 employees, the report said. The hotel would likely employ about 150 people. All three buildings are estimated to generate about 6,550 employees.

To mitigate traffic impacts, Facebook would set a trip cap and establish a transportation demand management program.

That trip cap would limit the number of trips allowed during peak traffic hours and set an overall limit for the number of trips allowed per day at the three proposed buildings – Buildings 21, 22 and the hotel – plus its recently completed Building 20 and the now-under-renovation Building 23.

Still, adding new buildings and jobs to the site is expected to have some traffic impact, particularly on the already choked arteries that lead toward the Dumbarton Bridge and U.S. 101.

In the near term, a cursory count showed the project could have 10 areas of "significant and unavoidable impact," related to traffic, and 19 by 2040.

"Significant and unavoidable" impacts, applied to traffic in this context, means that measures that would keep traffic "wait times" from increasing past a certain level are considered not feasible. That level or threshold, however, can vary based on the intersection and current traffic conditions.

At some intersections, where traffic is already heavy, those thresholds are set by the city to be crossed whenever there will be an added delay of 0.8 seconds or 4 seconds.

Facebook (under the name "Hibiscus Properties, LLC") also proposes to build a multi-use bike and pedestrian bridge over Highway 84 to connect eastern Menlo Park to Bedwell Bayfront Park and the San Francisco Bay Trail, with public open space and additional bike and pedestrian paths.

Go to the environmental impact report on the city website to find out more.

To submit comments on the draft of the environmental impact report, contact Kyle Perata, senior planner at ktperata@menlopark.org or by mail at:

City of Menlo Park

Community Development Department, Planning Division

701 Laurel St.

Menlo Park, CA 94025

A public hearing will also be held with the Planning Commission on June 20.

People must submit written comments by July 11 at 5:30 p.m.

Comments

9 people like this
Posted by Enrique
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on May 31, 2016 at 5:42 pm

The addition of a million square feet comes on top of the million square feet just now under construction a half mile away, also along Bayfront Expressway. There is already heavy traffic on the Expressway, the Dumbarton Bridge, 101 and all the arteries connecting same.
We cannot keep building if the cities, counties and state refuse to provide the infrastructure for people to get to and from work. In the past "traffic mitigation" was left to the building developer, usually meaning traffic light timing and TDM promises. What is needed now is regional infrastructure - possibly light electric trains running to the east bay where housing is still available. (The morning and evening 101 jams are directly related to the Dumbarton Bridge.)
We need to accommodate some growth to keep our leading employers in town. But until our state and local leaders address the need, we are building gridlock. Jerry Hill and Rich Gordon, this includes you.


5 people like this
Posted by Christin
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 31, 2016 at 9:35 pm

There is something very wrong with this draft EIR that finds the plan "consistent" with Menlo Park's Housing goals. Any significant expansion in employee population without a plan to build sufficient housing means by definition displacement, hardship and negative impacts on our community. Displacement is most likely to hurt our elderly, our disabled, our low-wage and increasingly our middle class workers. Already there are too many heart-wrenching stories about evictions and displacement. I have set up this page to start collecting these stories in one place: Web Link My hope is that Menlo Park's elected officials will hear these voices and better understand the human cost of their prior decisions to approve commercial growth.

Building housing MUST be our first priority before expanding the community's commercial space. To prioritize commercial expansion over housing means a vote for even greater displacement of our friends, family, and neighbors.


1 person likes this
Posted by Homeowner
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 1, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Christin,

FB expansion will have a miniscule impact on traffic compared to Greenheart downtown on an already gridlocked El Camino,

FB provides large busses to various housing points throughout the Bay Area and they are located w/easy access to a major freeway and a bridge to the East Bay, Add on when Stanford builds out El Camino along with Greenheart if you want to see gridlock.

Willow Rd. will get even worse if that's possible.

This is why a starter home is now selling for $750k in East Palo Alto. You can walk to FB,
To walk to Greenheart a starter home is $2m and up.

I can't afford $2M but I would rather live in EPA or Bellehaven and walk to FB than spend an hour to get out of Downtown Menlo Park and it is going to get worse.

Thank you FB for being a good neighbor.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle

on Sep 6, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle

on Sep 22, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle

on Sep 23, 2017 at 4:31 am

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Let's Talk Internships
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 849 views

Couples: Sex and Connection (Chicken or Egg?)
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 632 views

Zucchini Takeover
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 583 views