Google received unanimous approval from the Mountain View (CA) City Council this week for its new campus, Charleston East, allowing the company to begin construction this year, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
The near-600,000-square-foot office complex is designed to capture rainwater and will utilize a four-megawatt, rooftop solar array. The company said it would encourage its employees to use alternative transportation methods, such as walking, biking and mass transit to not over-burden city streets with new automobile traffic.
The campus will also feature a 2-acre public plaza, bike and pedestrian paths, ground-floor retail and other features meant to attract locals. The Mountain View community showed up to the council meeting in support of the project, and city officials said the development, which is anticipated to be complete by late 2019, would be a windfall for the city.
The authorization follows the council's consideration last week of a plan that would see nearly 10,000 additional residences be constructed in the area. That figure is twice what Google proposed when it submitted an earlier campus plan to the city, a proposal the council rejected in 2015.
Despite the bumpy start, Google filed its most recent plans to the city earlier this month. The Bjarke Ingels design had been changed to accommodate a smaller lot than originally hoped for, but it still retains elements of the previous submittal, such as the canopied roof as well as the building's ability to regulate environmental conditions for the estimated 3,000 employees that will occupy the space. Additionally, work areas will be located on the second floor so that the noise and activity generated in the building's public spaces won't distract employees.
The design alterations were necessary after the city denied the company's request to build on a 2-million-square-foot lot near its corporate headquarters — the Googleplex — elsewhere in Mountain View, instead allocating 1.4 million square feet of that space for LinkedIn to expand its operations.