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Google says it’s close to owning enough downtown San Jose properties for ‘viable’ development

Google is nearing ownership of enough downtown San Jose properties and parcels to create a “viable” transit-oriented development.

The development will take place near the Diridon train station, a top company executive told a key advisory group this week.

During a meeting of the Station Area Advisory Group, formed to gather and process citizen input about Google’s proposal to develop a massive transit village near Diridon Station, Google executives offered the company’s first major presentation of its development philosophies and plans for downtown San Jose. The search giant also indicated that it is creating a critical mass of properties where it could build a transit-oriented community downtown.

“Just to get the sites together by itself is obviously very complicated, and it’s not completed yet, and it’s taking a while,” Mark Golan, Google’s vice president real estate development, told the advisory group during its Monday night meeting. “But we are getting close to having a site that is viable.”

Mountain View-based Google and its development ally Trammell Crow have spent at least $221.6 million buying an array of properties on the western edges of downtown San Jose, within and near a one-mile stretch that begins north of the SAP Center and reaches south nearly to Interstate 280.

Among the major recent deals: The Google and Trammell Crow venture bought a large site that now is occupied by Orchard Supply Hardware, and the search giant has struck a deal to purchase a huge property from Trammell Crow that is approved for 1 million square feet, hundreds of residences and retail.

Despite the extensive work and investments that have occurred already, construction isn’t going to begin tomorrow, Google executives cautioned.

Read more from Santa Cruz Sentinel

 

 

Investors are spending big bucks for a piece of Silicon Valley office

It is already proving to be an active year for Silicon Valley office.

In the last few months, investors have spent millions to expand their Silicon Valley office portfolios.

San Jose’s office market, which has been relatively slow in recent years, picked up following Google’s plans to build a massive campus near Diridon Station. The Peninsula, which includes Palo Alto and Menlo Park, also has seen additional activity.

Santa Clara County office vacancies were about 12% in 2017 and the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook continue to buy or lease office space around the county, according to The Mercury News. Adobe Systems bought a parcel at 333 West San Fernando for $68M in January and plans to build a fourth office tower. Google continues its buying spree as it prepares for its Diridon Station campus and early this year bought three North San Jose office buildings at Midpoint@237, a business park developed by Trammell Crow, for over $117M.

Investors are expanding their San Jose office portfolios as well. DivcoWest bought three buildings from Cisco Systems in North San Jose in January, according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. The $50M sale was for the buildings at 10 and 80 West Tasman Drive and 125 Rio Robles Drive, totaling over 313K SF.

Read more from Bisnow

 

 

 

Poll finds strong public support for Google’s downtown San Jose development plans

Google’s plans for a major development in downtown San Jose are solidly supported by city and county residents.

This is according to polling done for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, which found nearly eight of 10 respondents support the project.

“That is a blowout of biblical proportions,” said Carl Guardino, the Leadership Group’s CEO.

The polling is an annual project by the group and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent based on 431 registered Santa Clara County voters.

It included four questions on the project by Alphabet-owned Google and found that:

  • 62 percent had heard of the Google project,
  • 79 percent supported it vs. 16 percent opposed and 5 percent with no opinion,
  • The same 79-16-5 breakdown applied to support of this type of development mixing jobs, housing and mass transit in an urban setting, and
  • The prospect of 20,000 new jobs drove support over the provision of new housing by 54-35 percent among  San Jose residents and 54-38 country-wide.

Opposition to the project has been visible, however, in the form of protesters at Mayor Sam Liccardo’s recent state-of-the-city speech and meetings and demonstrations organized by Silicon Valley Rising.

Guardino said the poll results challenge the opponents’ claims that they represent the view of the majority of San Jose’s residents.

Read more from Silicon Valley Business Journal

Google Proposes One Million Square Foot Project in Sunnyvale for 4,500 Employees

The second half of 2017 brought some much-desired attention to San Jose, the self-proclaimed capital of Silicon Valley. It all started when Trammell Crow announced that its Diridon Station project was tied to Google, and the subsequent negotiations the Mountain View tech giant started with San Jose’s elders to expand even further in the city. A slew of activity emerged in the city from hotels to office buildings to apartment complexes trading hands and institutional investors really zeroing in on the opportunity this could bring. The 86-acre, 4 million square foot approval Apple received from the city of San Jose in 2016 was not even mentioned in the news—the excitement seemed to be all about Google.

Yet Google’s ambitions are much broader than just one city. In late December, Google initiated plans with the city of Sunnyvale for a roughly 1.042 million square foot office project on approximately 40.5 acres of land it owns in the Moffett Park district. The ten parcels that Google owns are bounded by Caribbean Drive, Mathilda Avenue, Bordeaux Drive and Borregas Avenue. There are thirteen single story buildings on the property today totaling 801,670 square feet, and they include a combination of warehouse, light manufacturing, R&D and office uses, according to a letter submitted to the city by Google’s Senior Director of Design and Construction, Joe Van Belleghem.

Read more from The Registry

San Jose council agrees to buy land near Google project amid resident concerns

SAN JOSE — City leaders Tuesday agreed to buy six pieces of land near Google’s proposed tech village for parking and road improvements despite concerns from some residents that taxpayer dollars are being spent to subsidize the tech giant’s private development.

Mayor Sam Liccardo stressed that the land acquisitions approved Tuesday will support improvements that were planned for decades — with or without Google’s proposed tech campus. Liccardo also said the money pegged for the land buys — about $15 million total — was allocated years ago and that $4 million came from Trammell Crow, Google’s development partner.

Read more from The Mercury News

Google, Facebook push back on housing, transit crisis

As the Bay Area’s housing and transportation crisis deepens, a few of the region’s biggest tech employers are taking matters into their own hands.

Menlo Park-based Facebook and Mountain View-based Google are starting to address the region’s foremost issues in housing and traffic. The two tech giants have committed to supporting or building permanent housing in their hometowns – a first in the region – each drawing up or promising master plans that would create new apartments and retail close to thousands of jobs.

Read more from San Francisco Business Times