Google to build a mega-campus with 4,000 homes, office space, and shops

Photo: SITELAB Urban Studio A rendering of Google's proposed Downtown West development, which would span more than 80 acres of land around San Jose's Diridon Station.

San Jose city council gave Google the green light on Tuesday to build a huge campus in San Jose, California's third-largest city, according to official documents, citied by Business Insider.

The nod of approval means that Google can now move forward with its "Downtown West" project which will stretch over 80 acres of land, the council documents showed. This will become one of Google's biggest campuses in the world.

Insider has reached out to Google for clarification on the costs of the Downtown West campus, a project which was initially planned in 2017. The mixed-use mega-campus promises 7.3 million square feet of office space to accommodate 20,000 workers, 500,000 square feet dedicated to shops, restaurants, and other space, 15 acres of parks, and 4,000 new homes. Downtown West will also offer up to 300 hotel rooms and 800 short-term lodges for Google's corporate guests, the council documents showed.

Out of the 4,000 housing units, 1,000 of them will be designated under an affordable housing program, according to the documents. Officials said housing prices had not been decided yet. Google will also provide $200m in community benefits, including money for job training, homeless aid and support for small businesses, the documents said.

On top of this, the tech giant will fork out roughly $890m for investment in infrastructure improvements around the area, according to the documents.

A Google spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle that it aims to start construction work in 2022 and plans to inject $3m to San Jose within 30 days of the project's approval.

In the city council meeting, Alexa Arena, director of Google's San Jose mega-campus, described the project as a "social infrastructure plan," which is expected to offer more than $1bn in public investment, per the San Francisco Chronicle.

"This is about the long haul," Arena said. "We are not a developer that is coming in for five years."

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