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Menlo Park city council approved an environmental impact report and developmental agreement for a project that will bump the number of employees up to about 6,600

Facebook got the green light to expand its headquarters in Menlo Park, California to boost its head count over 6,000 employees.

Currently, the social network has 2,200 employees in Menlo Park. But yesterday, the Menlo Park city council approved an environmental impact report and developmental agreement for a project that will bump that number up to about 6,600.

All five city council members voted yes at the meeting last night.

"The bottom line is that we have a development agreement with Facebook that we're excited about," said Kirsten Keith, mayor of Menlo Park. "We're excited to have Facebook as our neighbors. I am pleased with what we have come up with."

Facebook will pay Menlo Park $850,000 per year for a 10-year period to cover the impact of the additional workers. It will also pay a one-time fee of over $1 million for capital improvements.

In addition, Facebook plans to establish a $500,000 community improvement fund, high school internship programs and job training seminars.

The social giant is also looking to build a new campus, which is a 22-acre site across the Bayfront Expressway. The site is to include could include five new buildings total, and it will be connected to the current Menlo Park campus via an underground crossing. Both campuses combined will likely have around 9,400 employees, and it should be complete in 2014.

All of the new changes to Menlo Park have concerned neighboring cities like Atherton, which said traffic at intersections could be an issue with all of the new employees. Both cities are currently in talks trying to come up with an agreement. Facebook offered suggestions such as employee carpool options.

Expanding its headquarters isn't the only big news Facebook has revealed recently. The social network launched the largest IPO in history this month, which valued the company at over $100 billion. Facebook also announced that it plans on creating its own smartphone software by next year and may purchase Opera Software for $1 billion.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

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By gamilonman on 5/30/2012 3:59:58 PM , Rating: 4
In a world where most states and municipalities compete fiercely to attract business and jobs, count on California to charge for it. $850k a year for the 'environmental impact' of creating >4,000 high paying office jobs and bringing the associated sales tax and state income tax revenue... really!?! Ridiculous. We'd welcome you in Texas, Facebook, and offer lower taxes, less regulation, and no state income tax while we're at it. Just sayin...

RE: California
By Flunk on 5/30/12, Rating: -1
RE: California
By gamilonman on 5/30/2012 4:22:43 PM , Rating: 3
I think less taxes and regulation are their own incentive, but I admit that many local governments (including some in Texas) have decided to engage in various incentives to attract business. At one end of the scale are tax incentives, which I think are less harmful than atrocities such as direct investment (often stadiums for private profit but at public expense) and loan guarantees (see the recent 38 Studios debacle in Rhode Island for the fiscal irresponsibility of this, not to mention the immorality of taking someone else's money by force to invest in a video game).

RE: California
By kjboughton on 5/31/2012 9:42:11 AM , Rating: 1
No, he's not.

He's implying - and with good reason - that unlike the State of California, the State of Texas doesn't resort to extorting money from businesses under the guise of conducting an "environmental impact report."

In any case, the title of this article says it all. The fact that one must seek and receive approval from the state in order to expand a business should be anathema to every American.

RE: California
By Trisped on 6/1/2012 6:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
California is not "extorting" money from Facebook. Menlo Park has a population of 32,026. Facebook is looking to bring in an additional 4400 people, which will require major enchantments to the current infrastructure. Facebook is paying the city to cover these enhancements. It is actually a very common thing when developing property that the developer also provide additional structure to the city, or give the city funds to cover the structure. For example, when a new housing tract is built the developer builds the roads in the tract, then turns the roads over to the city to maintain.

And FYI, all states require building permits, even Texas.

RE: California
By kleinma on 5/30/2012 4:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps the reality is that companies are willing to pay a premium to not have to be located in Texas?

Maybe some of these big tech companies aren't fond of Texas and it's patent troll happy court systems?

RE: California
By kamiller422 on 5/30/2012 5:36:02 PM , Rating: 3
Perhaps the reality is that companies are willing to pay a premium to not have to be located in Texas?

Companies have been leaving California and moving mostly to Texas for at least the past decade. Facebook has opened at least 2 offices in Texas, so they must think Texas isn't too bad to do business in.
Maybe some of these big tech companies aren't fond of Texas and it's patent troll happy court systems?

Aren't those federal and not state courts?

RE: California
By bah12 on 5/30/2012 5:49:45 PM , Rating: 2
Doubtful on the patent thing I'm pretty sure just selling the product in TX means you can be sued there.

That being said the more likely candidate is climate and other costs. There are certainly shipping benefits from being close to the coast and big ports. Plus arguably the labor pool is "better" in that CA has a physical proximity to a higher number of legal tech savvy Asian workers. Argue what you will, but a good % of tech savvy programmers come from India/Pakistan/Japan/China and CA has a higher % of that population.

RE: California
By kamiller422 on 5/30/2012 6:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
The patent cases are handled in the U.S. District of Eastern Texas. It's a federal court.

What sort of shipping needs does Facebook have? In any case, Texas is #1 in exports and 2nd to CA in imports.

There are sharp programmers in more than stereotypical places. (India and Pakistan, really?) Eastern Europe and Russia to name a couple more. In any case, there's plenty of programming talent in Texas and companies know it.

RE: California
By bah12 on 6/1/2012 9:32:25 AM , Rating: 2
I don't disagree with any of your points. I'm a proud Texan myself and we do have great people and resources here. However I do acknowledge the OP's point that CA certainly has some appeal or businesses would not continue to be there. I think they are shooting themselves in the foot in the long run, but for now there is certainly a large number of tech companies still headquartered in CA.

And maybe I should have said, dirt cheap tech savvy workers :)

RE: California
By Samus on 5/30/2012 6:02:36 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. When all is accounted for, Texas is like a different country. I'm not calling them Anti-American by any means, but the culture, law enforcement and political system are very different from 49 other states.

RE: California
By chµck on 5/30/2012 7:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
Well, we have been our own country before.

RE: California
By Gummi on 5/30/2012 9:22:23 PM , Rating: 2
You make an excellent point.

Except the part where it'd be in texas.

California has the best weather on the planet.
And hardly any rednecks.

RE: California
By kfonda on 5/30/2012 11:57:23 PM , Rating: 2
California has the best weather on the planet. And hardly any rednecks.

Yeah, but its crawling with hippies. :-)

RE: California
By yomamafor1 on 5/31/2012 1:14:55 AM , Rating: 2
That is because Menlo Park is a very high income, very eco-conscious area. This is an area where people regularly make well over 6 figures, and would prefer nothing more than a quiet environment to live in. By expanding it's workforce, FB could potentially ruin the area with noise and traffic pollution.

This is effectively the same as asking the Beverley Hill council to approve the increase of company size. There are going to have a lot of cost associated with that request.

RE: California
By kjboughton on 5/31/2012 9:44:19 AM , Rating: 2
Stand clear!

Statist apologist coming through!

RE: California
By yomamafor1 on 5/31/2012 11:04:28 AM , Rating: 2
*yawn* The fact that you would put petty label on me without actually understanding the population of the area shows how ignorant you are.

RE: California
By kjboughton on 5/31/2012 12:49:34 PM , Rating: 2
I live in Fremont and work in Palo Alto. I drive by Facebook's main campus in Menlo Park to and from my way to work everyday.

I'm pretty confident I understand the local population.

My comment stands.

RE: California
By yomamafor1 on 5/31/2012 2:09:05 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently "I drive through the area everyday to work" equates to "fully understand the local population".

Perhaps you should drive somewhere else other than El Camino Real.

RE: California
By kjboughton on 5/31/2012 2:18:13 PM , Rating: 2
Your foot is now firmly planted in your mouth.

Deal with it.

RE: California
By yomamafor1 on 5/31/2012 2:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
Ahhhh...personal attack. We meet again.

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