Menlo Park Expands As Startups, Facebook Grow
Silicon Valley’s Menlo Park is maturing from adolescence to full-grown adult as major tech corporations grow in the small city.
Menlo Park is home to an economy largely fueled by businesses specializing in private equity, venture capital, financial and legal services. Facebook’s move to the city in December 2011 (taking over Sun Microsystems’ former campus) has inspired a flurry of new businesses to set up shop here. Up-and-coming startups based in the area include Interana, Click Diagnostics and AI tech enterprise Globality in the residential Homewood Place neighborhood, a firm backed by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and former Vice President Al Gore.
Menlo Park boasts one of the largest concentrations of adults with university degrees (70%) of any city in the nation. The city is home to the pre-K through 12 German-American International School, and is a stone’s throw from Stanford University and Menlo College. These institutions not only entice potential employees with families, but also ensure the talent pool remains stocked.
Catering to this young professional population is Menlo Park’s downtown, which offers an upscale retail center dotted with local boutiques, restaurants and fresh produce markets snugly bordered by tree-lined roads.
Much of the city’s rapid expansion is due to the establishment of two very different organizations. Menlo Park houses one of the local sites of co-working firm SPACES. Founded in Amsterdam, SPACES offers unique interior office designs specifically crafted to promote creativity, comfort and collaboration.
The business’ Menlo Park waterfront edifice is one of the most desirable office locations in the Silicon Valley area, with modern furniture and open space concepts inside the building and easy access to nearby bike trails and footpaths.
Co-working office spaces are where many startups and budding companies make their debut. The perks and amenities of SPACES’ offices are a magnet for the Millennial tech workforce in many of the 500-plus startups and nonprofits based in the city.
Companies in SPACES’s lively workspaces will only be a short distance from the networking opportunities afforded by proximity to Facebook's new headquarters, as well as Regus’ more than 3,500 office spaces in Palo Alto and around the world. (Above is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, right, showing off the new HQ to US Secretary of State John Kerry in June.) Although Facebook moved to Menlo Park less than five years ago, it has grown through a series of expansion projects. With its mission of creating diversity and evoking a different feel through architecture, the social media giant remains at the helm of innovation in concept design—and complements the goals of SPACES' ultramodern co-working office models.
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