(Reuters) — The scarcity of housing in California’s Silicon Valley has gotten so extreme that Fb on Friday proposed taking homebuilding into its personal palms for the primary time with a plan to assemble 1,500 items close to its headquarters.

The expansion of Fb, Alphabet Inc’s Google and different tech corporations has strained neighborhoods within the San Francisco Bay space that weren’t ready for an inflow of tens of hundreds of staff throughout the previous decade. House costs and commute instances have risen.

Tech corporations have responded with measures comparable to internet-equipped buses for workers with lengthy commutes. Fb has provided not less than $10,000 in incentives to staff who transfer nearer to its workplaces.

These steps, although, haven’t decreased complaints that tech corporations are making communities unaffordable, and so they have principally failed to handle the world’s housing scarcity.

“The problem with Silicon Valley is you don’t have enough supply to keep up with the demand,” mentioned Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at actual property analysis agency CoreLogic.

With Fb’s building plan, the corporate mentioned it wished to spend money on Menlo Park, town some 45 miles (72 km) south of San Francisco the place it moved in 2011.

The corporate mentioned it needs to construct a “village” that may even have 1.75 million sq. ft of workplace house and 125,000 sq. ft of retail house.

“Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services,” John Tenanes, Fb’s vice chairman for world amenities, mentioned in a press release.

The 1,500 Fb housing items can be open to anybody, not simply workers, and 15 p.c of them can be provided at under market charges, the corporate mentioned.

Fb mentioned it expects the evaluate course of to take two years.

Alphabet has taken a smaller step, shopping for 300 modular condominium items for short-term worker housing, the Wall

Menlo Park Mayor Kirsten Keith mentioned in an interview that there have been issues about whether or not the Fb plan would enhance site visitors, a topic town’s planning division would examine.

She mentioned, although, that Fb’s plan matches with town’s personal long-term plan for development, and that town was excited in regards to the extra housing.


Fb’s Tenanes mentioned the density of the proposed development may additionally entice spending on transit initiatives.

“The region’s failure to continue to invest in our transportation infrastructure alongside growth has led to congestion and delay,” he mentioned.

(Reporting by David Ingram; Modifying by Cynthia Osterman)

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