Facebook to build small city next to its headquarters

Facebook (FB) is looking to expand beyond its Silicon Valley campus.

The social media giant said on Friday it would build an addition to its headquarters, creating a multi-use complex with stores, a pharmacy and 1,500 housing units. The expansion, dubbed “Willow Campus,” will include 125,000 square feet of retail and be entirely open to the public, the company said in a blog post. It’s on the site of the former Menlo Science & Technology Park, adjacent to the company’s current Frank Gehry-designed headquarters.

Facebook envisions that the first part of the project, including the retail, office, housing and grocery space, would be complete by 2021.

Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants have faced criticism in recent years for drawing thousands of workers to the Bay Area without a corresponding increase in the housing supply. The company last year agreed to fund efforts to create and preserve low-income housing. It expects 15 percent of the new housing units at Willow Campus, about 200 homes, would be below market rate.

The company also said it would create an east-west transit connection and “a future transit center.”

“Our hope is to create a physical space that supports our community and builds on our existing programs,” John Tenanes, vice president of global facilities and real estate at Facebook, wrote in post. “Going forward, we plan to continue to work closely with local leaders and community members to ensure Facebook’s presence is a benefit to the community.”