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Facebook's Quirky Real Estate Tale

While the West Campus is still at the planning stage, Facebook offered TheStreet a tour of the company's East Campus this week, providing a glimpse into life at one of America's highest-profile companies.

The first thing you notice after entering the campus is that its buildings flank a sort of "main street," complete with cafes and a subsidized branch of the popular West Coast coffee haunt Philz Coffee. A Mexican restaurant and a sushi restaurant will also be opening, further adding to the atmosphere of a Silicon Valley village.

Clearly, no one would ever starve at Facebook. TheStreet visited the Epic Café, one of the company's two main cafes, which offered a vast array of free food for employees. The roomy and well-lit space, which would not have looked out of place in Tribeca, was crafted by design gurus Roman and Williams, the team behind New York's Ace Hotel.

Larger than I imagined, the nine buildings that make up the campus house around 2,500 employees and have a combined floor space of more than 1 million square feet. There was also a decent amount of activity on the day I visited as Facebookers strolled or cycled the site's main thoroughfare.

"Walking meetings are very common," noted Facebook's Tow. "It's a very, very mobile culture."

Facebook even provides a number of treadmill desks, just in case employees need to combine their work and exercise schedules.

The company's famous quirkiness was evident across the campus, from a "yellow brick road: outside Philz Coffee to the "bike doctor" on hand to fix employees' bikes. A bike store is also set to open at the site.

Hacker Square, the site of the company's "hackathons," its famous all -night coding and corporate brainstorming efforts, forms the hub of the facility. Four massive black letters, apparently visible from space, spell out the word "hack" across the square.

Facebook plans to break ground on its campus expansion in early 2013 and expects to conclude the project in 2015. An underground tunnel will link the East and West campuses.
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