What Does The Google Mega-Campus Mean For San Jose?
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With Google’s plan to build up to 8M SF in what would likely be its biggest campus, San Jose is expected to experience significant economic benefits. Google will bring thousands of jobs and its plan could spark major development throughout the Diridon Station area and downtown San Jose. Around 3,000 units of housing could be constructed in the area as well.
What’s Already Happened?
The San Jose City Council approved a plan Tuesday to enter into exclusive negotiations with Google for 16 city- and municipal-owned parcels near Diridon Station and SAP Center, the Mercury News reports. Among the properties Google wants are four included in a previously planned ballpark site and the fire training property at Park Avenue and Montgomery Street.
Trammell Crow, which has partnered with Google, bought an 8.3-acre site in 2015 for $58.5M. The developer plans to build a mixed-use development with 1M SF of office and 325 apartments. Trammell Crow affiliate TC Agoge Associates and Rhyolite Enterprises spent another $130M for additional properties in 2016.
Outside of the 3,000 residential units that could be built as a part of Google's plan, 6,000 units of housing are in the pipeline and thousands more were recently completed in downtown San Jose.
What Will This Mean For San Jose?
Securing an employer like Google as a lead private partner could help accelerate the development of the Diridon Station area, city officials said in a memo issued Tuesday. Google would partner with the city, VTA, Caltrain, Arena Management and high-speed rail to help make the area a cohesive project and destination.
SPUR expressed support for the creation of an urban village in San Jose, but encouraged the city to move housing forward in a timely fashion.
“The prospect of Google coming to the Diridon station area, in addition to the thousands of new housing units being erected, may be the needed catalyst to spur the commercial development missing from downtown for a long time,” SPUR San Jose Director Teresa Alvarado said in a letter to city officials.
The plan would involve redrawing the map of 240 acres around Diridon Station and SAP Center. Experts are comparing the potential of this area to that of San Francisco’s Mission Bay, which was a sweeping shoreline sprinkled with old shipyards and industrial buildings. It is now a thriving neighborhood with office, research and development, and housing. Silicon Valley Leadership Group President Carl Guardino told the Mercury News this area will be the Grand Central Station of the West.
Google would become the city’s largest employer, offering up to 20,000 jobs, and add millions of dollars in tax revenue. It could potentially eliminate some traffic problems by creating more local jobs.
“Google is a leader in innovation and has a history of contributing to solutions to many of the problems that plague society,” San Jose council member Sergio Jimenez said in a statement. “In other cities where Google has a presence, they have supported affordable housing, funded infrastructure improvements, and provided unique public benefits.”
Google's urban village would create an open community with office/R&D, retail and commercial amenities that will provide public open space.