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By Paul Losch

Facebook and College Terrace and Palo Alto

Uploaded: Feb 10, 2011

FACT: the office complex that Facebook has occupied of late was several years ago negotiated to change to housing for Stanford employees. Agilent/HP was the previous tenant, but it is not a commercial space much longer. Facebook had to move.

DISAPPOINTMENT: I am not clear how hard Palo Alto tried to keep Facebook in town. There is commercial space in the Stanford Industrial Park. There may be a policy issue for our City Council about attracting and retaining major employers.

CULTURE QUESTIONS: The former Sun campus in MP is a very fine facility, but it is hard to get to by means other than automobile. I wonder how this will affect the culture of the Facebook and how it attracts and retains the type of employee to the company
Great eating on that former Sun campus, nada if you want to get out. Since these folks seem to work at all hours, I hope the food services operation will be geared to such an environment. Palo Alto could have used this to our advantage, given all the great places we have for eating.

CRITICISM: I honestly do not understand what some vocal members of College Terrace want. There is a rich history for this part of Palo Alto, dating to Jane Stanford back in the day. It also is unclear if the sentiments of the neighborhood that get press coverage reflect the views of a few, or of many.
What defines a neighbor, anyway?
A few people can make a difference, as I have observed in my Community Center neighborhood when the idea of a public restroom at Eleanor Pardee Park was basically killed by some neighbors who feared it would change the character of the park. This despite positive outcomes in other neighborhood parks in town when a restroom facility was built.

REVENUE STRATEGY: I have been of the opinion for years that Palo Alto lacks a revenue strategy. I have told City Council members about this in formal and informal comments, and written about it in our local papers. And we let Facebook go away?

Lots of issues here, part of living in a very complicated community.