Google got the green light to begin construction on its 80 acres of land set for its new multi-billion dollar Downtown West campus. Construction may take as long as 10 years, reports CNBC. The San Jose campus will feature 7.3 million square feet of office space for 20,000 employees and 4,000 housing units. This development plays a critical role in Google’s new goal to shift away from closed-off tech campuses and regain the public's trust in tech companies. Much of the company’s success resulted in a shortage of affordable housing and cultural shifts in tech hub areas such as Silicon Valley.
Google, which is doubling down on bringing workers back to offices amid the weakening pandemic, is also planning another massive, town-like hub just 10 miles up the road in Mountain View.
“There’s tremendous mistrust of the government and suspicion of Big Tech and it could have been easy for many of our community members simply to succumb to slogans and simplistic thinking but thousands rolled up their sleeves,” San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo said at Tuesday’s meeting. “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 in a statement Tuesday night. “Together, we have created a foundation for an equitable and environmentally focused place that represents the best of San Jose and Google.”