UPDATE: June 1, 2021: After more than three years of negotiations, the San Jose, California, city council unanimously approved Google's plan last week to build an 80-acre campus in the city's downtown area.
The tech giant's “Downtown West” project will encompass 7.3 million square feet of office space for 20,000 workers and thousands of housing units. Construction may begin as soon as next year, but the campus will take between 10 to 30 years to fully build, according to CNBC.
Also last week, Google reached a last-minute deal with NHL team the San Jose Sharks, which had opposed the plan due to the lack of proposed parking spaces for its home at the nearby SAP Arena, CNBC reported. In exchange for modifications, the Sharks agreed not to sue the city or Google.
- Google’s plans for a massive mixed-use project in San Jose, California, came into clearer focus this week as the city released hundreds of pages of documents detailing the tech giant’s proposal.
- In the works for more than three years, the Downtown West Mixed-Use Plan will develop 81 acres in downtown San Jose into a transit-oriented area consisting of new office space, housing and open space.
- Although the coronavirus pandemic delayed the project review and related outreach by a few months, the plans released this week will enable further public input and allow city officials to complete the review process, putting the project on track to reach the city council for possible approval in Spring 2021, according to San Jose officials.
Google's revised project proposal includes:
- Up to 7.3 million square feet of office space.
- 4,000 units of new housing.
- Up to 500,000 square feet for retail, culture and arts spaces.
- 100,000 square feet of event space, hotel rooms (up to 300), and limited-term corporate accommodations (up to 800 rooms).
- 15 acres of parks and open space.
More than half of the Downtown West project will be allocated for residential and public space and include features such as childcare centers, outdoor learning centers and ecological viewing stations, said Alexa Arena, Google’s district lead for San Jose in a video.
The design “leans heavily on the desire for people to have access to nature even in center cities,” she said. “We think this is critically important to help people live healthy and resilient lives.”
Australia-based contractor Lendlease will provide master planning, entitlement and development services for the project, as part of the contractor’s $15 billion deal with Google to develop 15 million square feet of residential, retail, hospitality and other projects in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The partnership with Lendlease is part of Google's commitment to build 20,000 homes in Silicon Valley to help ease the persistent shortage of housing in the area.
Through three years of community meetings and informational fairs, the city and Google have solicited community input. This feedback helped shape the final design, Arena said.
Google also released a list of the design and engineering companies working on the project. They are:
- SITELAB urban studio: urban design
- Heatherwick Studio: architecture
- Grimshaw Architects: architecture
- Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF): architecture
- Fougeron Architecture: architecture
- Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB): architecture
- SHoP Architects: Architecture
- Sherwood Design Engineers: civil and infrastructure
- HMH Engineers: civil