Update: A Facebook rep told Curbed SF, "We're not looking at space in SF." We don't see a lot of wiggle room in that statement.
Big news: Facebook is finally coming to San Francisco. Maybe. Eventually. In fact, we’ll have to get back to you on that one.
The Menlo Park-based social network has long played coy with employees and backseat CEOs about whether or not it will ever take the plunge and open an office in the city, as so many of its Silicon Valley contemporaries have done.
Now the San Francisco Business Times reports that the wheels are in motion for a potentially huge lease. But if a deal exists, it sounds like a mostly cautious affair, more batter than cake at this point.
Things are still "very preliminary," "no specific deals have moved forward," the company will probably wait until the city approves the Central SoMa plan, and no one at Facebook has yet commented.
So is this nothing but sizzle, or is there finally some steak to work with? It’s not the first time that little birds have started chirping about the possibility that Facebook will give its final "Like" to a move north.
In fact, in the past the Business Times called such rounds of speculation an annual ritual, and that was back in 2012. But of course, news is always just a rumor until it really happens.
In the past, the company has been so reluctant to move that it even pays employees up to $15,000/year extra to move closer to its present office. Other than Apple, it’s the only really significant Silicon Valley player that’s yet to stick its foot in the door (any door) in the city.
Maybe a better question than whether Facebook will ever break down and make the trek up the peninsula is why it’s so reluctant in the first place. Shuttles are all well and good, but San Francisco-based employees surely would prefer the option of going without them?
Is it a tax thing? The specter of high rents? The amount of money the company has already poured into expanding its Menlo Park facilities? Or maybe, like Apple, they’re just too attached to their roots to stomach the idea of leaving home.
- Facebook Considers Expansion Into SF [SF Business Times]
- Will Facebook Finally Open SF Office? [SF Business Times, 2012]
- One Year Later, Facebook HQ is Still Ready for Its Close-Up [Curbed SF]
- Uber’s Office Puts Pressure on Facebook [The Information]
- Why Facebook Offers $10K To Live Near HQ [Entrepreneur]