Well, we guess 335 Madison Avenue got a bit boring for the likes of Facebook, which is officially moving into 100,000 square feet of office space at 770 Broadway in 2014–right next to Astor Place, kitty-corner to the Cooper Union, and a few blocks up from the Village Voice. The social media site has also brought on architectural rock star Frank Gehry (you know, the guy behind this, and this), to design “open floor plans, natural lighting, and an emphasis on space for collaboration,” according to Betabeat.
We can’t help but suppress a rising feeling of fear in the gut over this–not because we don’t love Frank Gehry–but mostly due to the way Crain’s characterized the potential move (and the neighborhood) last month. In late May, Crain’s reported that Facebook was looking to relocate to this building in “midtown south.”
Several sources say Facebook has been looking for expansion space in Manhattan for months and that executives at the company wanted an outpost in Silicon Alley, the nickname given to midtown south as it has attracted dozens of tech companies and startups in recent years.
Hold up. Is anything south of 42nd Street a monolithic “midtown south” now? When did that happen? The last time we checked, Astor Place–and by extension, the Village–was certainly not “midtown south” and neither was this, nor this.
While the look of the neighborhood has changed dramatically in recent years–just take a peek at the overbearing, obsidian-like slab erected at 51 Astor Place–Facebook will be moving into the eighth floor in the existing building, not constructing a new office tower (whew). And in all likelihood, Facebook employees will blend in with the existing NYU students, only they’ll have nicer living arrangements and more expensive sneakers.