Allison Arieff, an editor of SPUR in San Francisco, writes about the challenges of tech companies’ increasing interest in city locations. Looking particularly at the San Francisco Bay Area, she discusses how many tech companies are locating in cities, but as far too insular of entities. Many, including Twitter, aren’t promoting street traffic because they offer so many urban amenities and shops inside their buildings while restricting access to only employees.
She sees the same phenomenon in suburban tech companies too. Facebook has created a small faux urban area in Menlo Park with cafes, dry cleaners, and doctors offices in a sea of parking. The area is only open to Facebook employees.
Smaller companies and start ups are being a bit more deliberate (partly out of necessity) to locate in areas that are part of neighborhoods and don’t disrupt the urban fabric. Arieff notes the 5M Project as a good example of an integrated tech-neighborhood mixed use development.