News

New changes announced to Facebook Willow Village proposal

Several major changes have been made to Willow Village, Facebook's 50-plus acre development proposal in Menlo Park, based on refinements to the proposal submitted to the city of Menlo Park Tuesday by the developer, Signature Development Group.

A rendering of the proposed Town Square that would be part of Willow Village, set to be accessible to cyclists and pedestrians in Belle Haven via a new elevated park. Courtesy Facebook/Signature Development Group.

The updated proposal reduces the amount of office space to accommodate 2,550 fewer workers than the plan's most recent iteration and the square footage by half a million square feet, to 1.25 million from 1.75 million, according to a press statement from Adam Alberti representing Signature Development Group.

The previously planned office space was repurposed to offer publicly accessible open space, a public visitor’s center and flexible meeting, collaboration and conference spaces for employees and office guests, he added.

In addition to the office space, the proposal includes 1,735 apartments, a grocery store, pharmacy and other retail spaces, a 193-room hotel, two parking structures, and some publicly accessible open space, all over three phases of development. Currently, the site is occupied by a single-story office park occupied mainly by Facebook.

The proposal also offers a new 2.1-acre community park that would go over Willow Road and connect the Belle Haven area near Hamilton Avenue to the development. Residents would be able to bike or walk to more easily access the restaurants, retail shops and amenities planned at the site.

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Underground parking will also be offered.

And while the Willow Village development has long been committed to offering a grocery store to better serve the neighborhood, the timing of when it would be built has been up for discussion. As of the latest update, Facebook and Signature Development Group announced they planned to accelerate the construction of a new local full-service grocery store in the first phase of the project, and would build an interim grocery store at the start of the project.

The proposed buildings would be all-electric, use recycled water and meet other environmental sustainability requirements, including plans to adhere to LEED Gold standards.

“Our conversations with neighbors, city council members and planning commissioners have been critical to ensure Willow Village is part of the solution to many of the challenges our community faces,” said Mike Ghielmetti, president of Signature Development Group.

“The updated plan reflects community calls to balance jobs and housing, increase affordable housing, minimize traffic, connect to Belle Haven and deliver essential services faster, such as the full grocery store, pharmacy and other neighborhood amenities.”

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People are asked to submit feedback on the updates here.

 "We listened to a wide range of feedback and the updated plan directly responds to community input. Our investment in Willow Village is a testament to our continued partnership with the city and dedication to the surrounding neighborhood,” said John Tenanes, vice president of real estate for Facebook.

The proposal is currently undergoing an environmental impact analysis, which is expected to go until mid-2021, according to Alberti.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that the proposed hotel would have 250 rooms; it has been reduced to 193 rooms, according to Alberti.

A rendering of the proposed Town Square that would be part of Willow Village, set to be accessible to cyclists and pedestrians in Belle Haven via a new elevated park. Courtesy Facebook/Signature Development Group.

A rendering of the proposed Town Square that would be part of Willow Village, set to be accessible to cyclists and pedestrians in Belle Haven via a new elevated park. Courtesy Facebook/Signature Development Group.

The latest layout of Willow Village. Image courtesy Facebook/Signature Development Group.

A rendering of the proposed Town Square that would be part of Willow Village, set to be accessible to cyclists and pedestrians in Belle Haven via a new elevated park. Courtesy Facebook/Signature Development Group.

The latest layout of Willow Village. Image courtesy Facebook/Signature Development Group.

The latest layout of Willow Village. Image courtesy Facebook/Signature Development Group.

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New changes announced to Facebook Willow Village proposal

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Wed, May 20, 2020, 10:43 am

Several major changes have been made to Willow Village, Facebook's 50-plus acre development proposal in Menlo Park, based on refinements to the proposal submitted to the city of Menlo Park Tuesday by the developer, Signature Development Group.

The updated proposal reduces the amount of office space to accommodate 2,550 fewer workers than the plan's most recent iteration and the square footage by half a million square feet, to 1.25 million from 1.75 million, according to a press statement from Adam Alberti representing Signature Development Group.

The previously planned office space was repurposed to offer publicly accessible open space, a public visitor’s center and flexible meeting, collaboration and conference spaces for employees and office guests, he added.

In addition to the office space, the proposal includes 1,735 apartments, a grocery store, pharmacy and other retail spaces, a 193-room hotel, two parking structures, and some publicly accessible open space, all over three phases of development. Currently, the site is occupied by a single-story office park occupied mainly by Facebook.

The proposal also offers a new 2.1-acre community park that would go over Willow Road and connect the Belle Haven area near Hamilton Avenue to the development. Residents would be able to bike or walk to more easily access the restaurants, retail shops and amenities planned at the site.

Underground parking will also be offered.

And while the Willow Village development has long been committed to offering a grocery store to better serve the neighborhood, the timing of when it would be built has been up for discussion. As of the latest update, Facebook and Signature Development Group announced they planned to accelerate the construction of a new local full-service grocery store in the first phase of the project, and would build an interim grocery store at the start of the project.

The proposed buildings would be all-electric, use recycled water and meet other environmental sustainability requirements, including plans to adhere to LEED Gold standards.

“Our conversations with neighbors, city council members and planning commissioners have been critical to ensure Willow Village is part of the solution to many of the challenges our community faces,” said Mike Ghielmetti, president of Signature Development Group.

“The updated plan reflects community calls to balance jobs and housing, increase affordable housing, minimize traffic, connect to Belle Haven and deliver essential services faster, such as the full grocery store, pharmacy and other neighborhood amenities.”

People are asked to submit feedback on the updates here.

 "We listened to a wide range of feedback and the updated plan directly responds to community input. Our investment in Willow Village is a testament to our continued partnership with the city and dedication to the surrounding neighborhood,” said John Tenanes, vice president of real estate for Facebook.

The proposal is currently undergoing an environmental impact analysis, which is expected to go until mid-2021, according to Alberti.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story stated that the proposed hotel would have 250 rooms; it has been reduced to 193 rooms, according to Alberti.

Comments

Alan
Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 20, 2020 at 11:09 am
Alan, Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on May 20, 2020 at 11:09 am
Like this comment

@Kate Bradshaw - if there's a link to a pdf showing the modified plans, that would be interesting. Thanks.


Brian
Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 21, 2020 at 12:21 pm
Brian, Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 21, 2020 at 12:21 pm
6 people like this

I have not seen anything that addresses the traffic impact of almost 2000 new housing units and office space for thousands of employees. The last two months have been nice in regards to traffic, but we know that will not be the case in the future. I think Menlo Park needs to reject the plans for more office space in the city.


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