San Jose approves massive Google 'Downtown West' project

·Contributing Writer
·1 min read

After nearly four years of securing community buy-in, Google's plan for a San Jose campus is moving forward. Per The San Francisco Chronicle, the city's council voted unanimously on Tuesday evening to approve the company's Downtown West project. Once complete, the 80-acre site will be one of Google's largest office complexes to date. 

In a plan reminiscent of Alphabet's failed Sidewalk Labs bid in Toronto, the project calls for a mixed-use development that will be integrated into the city and partially open to the public. In addition to 7.3 million square feet of office space for approximately 20,000 employees, Google plans to build 4,000 housing units, 300 hotel rooms and at least 10 parks alongside other amenities like retail spaces and a performance area. 

To secure approval for the project, Google agreed to pay a first-of-its-kind $200 million community benefit, which will see it invest in anti-displacement and job readiness programs. The company also came to a last-minute agreement with the NHL's San Jose Sharks to avoid miring the project in legal gridlock. Construction on the campus is slated to start as early as next year, but could take the better part of 10 to 30 years to complete.

The approval comes as some of the company's workers return to its offices voluntarily. At the start of May, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the search giant would adopt a new hybrid workplace plan that would see most employees work out of an office three days a week. As part of that same plan, Pichai said Google would also give workers more freedom to move between offices.

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