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Bay Area housing, traffic has Facebook looks elsewhere

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during a public broadcast and questions with employees that his company is looking for growth elsewhere because of the Bay Area & # 39; s housing and traffic problems.

"The infrastructure here is really drained," Zuckerberg said Thursday. “Housing prices are way up. The traffic is bad. "He added that while Facebook is trying to do what it can to help with what it called the region's political challenges," at this point we are primarily growing outside the Bay Area. ”

The social networking giant has a huge footprint in the Bay Area, where it was founded. In addition to the company's major headquarters in Menlo Park, it also has offices in Fremont, Mountain View and San Francisco, and plans to open offices in Burlingame next year. Last month, it opened a new campus in Sunnyvale and leased 1[ads1] million square feet, which can hold thousands of employees.

Facebook's largest locations outside the Bay Area are in Seattle, Austin and New York City, a spokesman said Friday. Other large cities where the company has offices include Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Denver and Washington, DC

Facebook has tried to address the Bay Area residential area by proposing mixed use of space in Menlo Park and subsidizing apartments for teachers, financing housing for low income residents and more. The foundation of Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, partnered earlier this year with Facebook, Genentech and others to pledge $ 500 million to build or preserve more than 8,000 homes in the Bay Area over the next 5 to 10 years.

Zuckerberg addressed Bay Area infrastructure is part of the answer to an employee's question about why Facebook is not friendlier with remote work. The CEO said he prefers big hubs where the Facebook engineering teams can be around each other, and that he doesn't want many small offices around the world, except where the sales teams have to be in the markets they serve. .

Zuckerberg's comments come as other technology companies, including Apple and Google, expand their presence in the Bay Area.

However, Facebook is not the only technology company that wants to grow elsewhere. Commercial Real Estate Cushman & Wakefield said this week that 58 of the 89 largest – with 100,000 square feet and above – headquarters in the Bay Area, have leased 30.4 million square feet of office space in other U.S. cities since January 2010. Outside the Bay area, The area is the five most-square-foot markets owned by these companies, Austin, Seattle, New York, Southern California and Chicago.

Facebook CEO live-streamed the internal meeting this week after audio of a previous meeting was leaked to Verge. At that meeting, Zuckerberg said that Facebook would fight Senator Elizabeth Warren's efforts to break up the company if she became president. At Thursday's meeting, Zuckerberg said he would try not to "discourage" Warren any further.

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