Google has been granted permission to build a “multi-billion dollar mega-campus” in San Jose, Calif., Just 10 miles from the other giant campus the company is building in Mountain View. CNBC reports that city officials approved Google’s “Downtown West” project on Tuesday night.
Google’s selling point describes the development as a “mixed-use urban destination” built around the transit hub of Diridon station. Upon completion of the project, Google will own 80 acres of land that will include 7.3 million square feet of office space, 4,000 housing units, 15 acres of “parks, plazas and green spaces” and 500,000 square feet dedicated to “Retail, culture, arts, education, hotels and more. One thousand of the 4,000 homes will be designated as “affordable” housing. Google’s director of development in San Jose, Alexa Aren, described the project as “much less of a corporate campus” and more as “a resilient neighborhood”. It looks like it’s going to be essentially a Google city for employees to live and work in.
The campus has been under construction for four years. Google has faced opposition from Santa Clara County, concerned about building heights, and NHL team the San Jose Sharks, whose SAP center is about to be engulfed in Google’s construction project. The Sharks were concerned about parking, but Google and the team struck a deal right before the campus was approved. Santa Clara was rejected by the unanimous vote of the city council. Concerns about building heights are pretty much the root cause of all housing problems in Silicon Valley. As the world’s largest tech hub, the region could host giant skyscrapers, but local politics prevent them from being built. San Jose is the most populous city in the United States with no buildings 91 meters or taller. The tallest building is only 22 stories tall.
A company spokesperson told CNBC it was too early to estimate office costs. Construction could start as early as next year and will take 10 to 30 years.