Facebook has officially updated its location to Menlo Park, California.
The first 20 Facebook employees moved into the social media giant's new headquarters at Willow Road and Bayfront Expressway this week, said Menlo Park Business Development Director David Johnson.
Workers from the company's facilities department that have been readying the campus for the influx of the nearly 1,400 other employees were the first to take their place on site.
its intention to move from Palo Alto to the former home of Sun Microsystems in February. Since then, the company has been preparing to transfer its entire workforce, which Johnson anticipates should be complete by early 2012. He said the next wave of employees coming to Menlo Park are not expected until next month, although some Facebook employees say that a second wave will begin next week.
In the meantime, construction crews are preparing the campus to accomodate the influx of workers, and their lunch hours.
While the campus will feature on site amenities such as a cafeteria, city staffers hope that Facebook employees do not solely rely on those food options as their sole source of sustenance.
Johnson said plans are in the works between the city and the company to incentivize the act of going off campus during lunch and breaks. It may come in the form of a voucher program that employees could use at restaurants in Menlo Park, encouraging Facebook employees to stimulate the local economy.
Facebook generates a majority of its revenue through selling advertising rights on its site, the income from which is not taxable by the city, said Johnson. So the only the city stands to rake in would be money generated when Facebook employees visit businesses, he said.
Though the details of the program have not yet been hammered out, Johnson said they may be similar to those offered by other large corporations in Silicon Valley that provide incentives for employees to spend money in the town where their work campus is located.
A model program to exemplify what may be offered in Menlo Park could be Genentech Goes To Town, in which the biotech company, over a two week period, issues its employees gift certificates that can only be spent at places in South San Francisco.
Johnson said the voucher program would likely first be offered to the food vendors and restaurants in Menlo Park, because that industry is most attractive to the Facebook crowd. And though he did not rule out expanding the program to other types of local business, Johnson said it was too early to tell exactly what shape it would take.
"We are in discussions about how such a program would work," said Johnson.
The goal of the program is to encourage employees to discover what Menlo Park has to offer, rather than facilitate a return to their old stomping grounds in Palo Alto.
"There are new favorites to be had here in Menlo Park," said Johnson, "We want to capture this market for our businesses in town."
Facebook has reciprocated the desire to form a mutually beneficial relationship with the town; its workers were present at last weekend's
The Facebook booth at the event featured six computers that festival goers could use to better familiarize themselves with their Facebook pages, and get help from the site's technical support team.
"Community outreach is an important element of their company's identity," said Johnson.
Speaking of Facebook Pages, Menlo Park Patch has one that's very likeable. Like Menlo Park Patch on Facebook, so you can find out what's new in Menlo Park as soon as it happens.