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Google gets the green light to build a multi-billion-dollar mega campus

Google gets the green light to build a multi-billion-dollar mega campus

June 01, 2021: -On Tuesday, San Jose city officials approved a plan for Google to build a massive campus in the heart of California’s third-largest city officially.

For its “Downtown West” project, Google is planning to develop 80 acres of land in downtown San Jose, which includes 7.3 million square feet of office space for 20,000 workers and thousands of housing units. It’s the first mixed-use campus of Google and will be one of its largest when completed. The San Jose city council approved the company’s plans on Tuesday, and several council members held back tears while doing.

After Google aims to model a shift away from closed-off tech campuses, it got approved to stem the growing alienation toward tech companies, whose success has contributed to a shortage of affordable housing and significant cultural changes in Silicon Valley and other tech hubs. Google, which is planning to double on bringing workers back to offices between the weakening pandemic, is also planning another huge, town-like hub just 10 miles up the road in Mountain View.

“There’s a mistrust of the government and suspicion of Big Tech, and it could be easy for many of our community members simply to succumb to slogans and a simple thinking, but thousands rolled up their sleeves,” San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo said in the meeting on Tuesday. “Rather than jump in one camp or another, community members pushed and prodded and urged the city and Google to stretch and reach higher.”

Liccardo continued, thanking community groups, Google, and parent company Alphabet’s finance chief Ruth Porat and SVP Kent Walker, who he said: “we’re committed to seeing this through.”

“We’d like to thank the City and community for years of engagement and true partnership,” said Google’s San Jose Development Director Alexa Arena on Tuesday night.

“Together, we have created a foundation for an equitable and environmentally focused place that represents the best of San Jose and Google.”

The Downtown West campus includes 4,000 housing units, 1,000 of which will be designated for a range of “affordable” housing. In San Jose, “extremely low-income” qualifiers earn 30% of the average median income. Exact housing prices haven’t been determined yet, officials said.

Downtown West will also include up to 300 hotel rooms and 800 residences for short-term lodging for corporate guests of the government. While Google will own all 80 acres, over half of the project will be allocated for residential and public space and include parks, restaurants, retail space, entertainment space, and ecological viewing stations.

Construction on the project could start as early as next year but is expected to take between 10 and 30 years to build fully.


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