14:12 GMT +323 September 2017
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    Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

    Facebookville? Social Media Giant Is Building a Private Town in Silicon Valley

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    Not content with creating the globe’s largest online social network, Facebook is now planning to build a large, all encompassing community for its employees in the real world.

    Projected to include not just the workplace but also a market, pharmacy, a hotel and retail shops, Facebook has announced that it will create an all-inclusive environment — a Facetown, if you will — so that employees and their families need never, ever log off. Oops, we mean leave.

    Imagine living in an airport: a Starbucks, CVS, McDonald's and Wells Fargo, all rolled into one carefully-curated environment in which an employee and their family can safely live out their days as paid cogs within one of the richest corporations on the planet, owned by one of Earth's richest men.

    In revealing its plans on Thursday, Facebook announced an enormous construction project at the company's corporate campus in Menlo Park, California.

    Alongside plans to expand beyond its West Coast home base, the social media giant will develop a 56-acre site, purchased in 2015 for some $400 million, across the street from the current Facebook headquarters, according to Business Insider.

    Facetown — yes, we know it's not the real name — will include an estimated 1,500 housing units, presumably of varying size and quality, based upon an employee's status within the corporation.

    Facebook branded its development plan a "mixed-use village" offering residents, most of whom will be employees of the company, housing, transportation and all of the amenities of an encapsulated town, without the unknowns and challenges of ordinary urban and suburban living.

    Facebook's announcement included the assertion that, "We plan to build 125,000 square feet of new retail space, including a grocery store, pharmacy and additional community-facing retail."

    According to a fawning report by the Silicon Valley Business Journal, the new development will include a hotel.

    Projected to take a minimum of 10 years to build, most of the housing in the planned community will reportedly be first made available to employees of the company, although Facebook has claimed that it will make some of the units available to the public.

    Housing within the town is purported to be a mix of market rate and "affordable" units at an anticipated 15 percent below normal prices, according to Facebook.

    "Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services," the company's announcement added, cited by Business Insider.

    Having employees live in or next to their workplace will reduce traffic, the social media frontrunner asserted.

    Facebook has officially presented its plans for the town to Menlo Park, but the city has not approved the creation of the planned community yet.

    It is expected, however, that city officials will not in any way hinder plans for the world's social media leader to expand into the real world. The approval process should take about two years, the Facebook announcement declared, with complete confidence.

    There is no word yet on whether residents will be constantly bombarded with requests to play games with their neighbors, nor how people in the real world will let their community know if they like or dislike an utterance.

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    Tags:
    gentrification, urbanization, corporate governance, town, company, airport, Wells Fargo, CVS, McDonalds, Starbucks, Facebook, United States, California, Menlo Park
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