Facebook's plans to continue to grow are so ambitious that the company plans to redevelop whole swaths of the land it holds in the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park. Its redevelopment could potentially double its workforce over the next decade to 35,000 people, more than Menlo Park's current population, reports National Real Estate Investor. Its newest office, a Frank Gehry-designed building called MPK 21, has 525,236 square feet of space, with angled corrugated metal roofed restaurants and an area filled with 20 massive redwoods and log benches, meant to make employees feel like they are in Muir Woods, the national monument north of San Francisco.
Aside from simply needing more space, Facebook's real estate deals are partly a response to the challenge of attracting the most in-demand workers in an area known for punishing commutes and soaring housing costs. The company is expanding its geography by pushing deeper into Silicon Valley to Sunnyvale, and entering San Francisco for the first time by fully leasing two brand-new towers. Decisions regarding its real estate needs came after intense data analyses. According to Margaret O'Mara, a professor at the University of Washington, Facebook's growth is part of a broader shift for how large tech companies are adapting their real estate. State-of-the-art headquarters used to be campuses where corporate cultures were built on physical proximity, but that is being replaced by a more dispersed model.