Facebook is building a $120 million town for employees

Facebook plans to build a 394-unit housing complex - with 15 low income units

By Anya Kamenetz
Published October 3, 2013 9:34PM (EDT)

Facebook is partnering with a Sacramento–based development company to build a 394–unit housing complex within walking distance of both its Menlo Park HQ and its new West Campus, which is under construction. Aside from 15 low income units required under agreements with local government, the rest of the studios, one–, two–, and three–bedroom apartments are all intended for Facebook employees. Ground will break this month and the building is expected to be finished in two years.

The main Facebook campus teems with the usual Silicon Valley perks, and this luxury residence is no different. According to the press release, residents will have access to concierge services, a gym with yoga and personal training, a pool/spa/cabana area, a "clubhouse" with indoor and outdoor cooking areas, a rooftop "entertainment deck," a bike repair shop, sports pub, cafe, and even a pet spa.

Despite all the swag, the idea of onsite company–built dorms is more reminiscent of a Chinese tech sweatshop like Foxconn than a knowledge factory like Facebook––the building's already been nicknamed "Zuckland" and "Facebookville." But the question of where tech industry workers will live is a pressing one. San Francisco and San Jose, the two capitals of the area, saw the highest rent increases in the country over the last quarter.

How much would your company have to pay you to room with your coworkers? Is this good or bad for productivity? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Anya Kamenetz

Anya Kamenetz is NPR’s lead digital education reporter. She’s the author of two previous books, Generation Debt and DIY U.

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