The Mercury News reports that San Jose City Council has approved to negotiate only with Google to sell 16 city-owned parcels to the search engine company. Since September 2015 Trammell Crow, Google’s development partner has spent $58.5 million US dollars for an 8.3 acre “transit village” site to potentially build 1 million square feet of offices and 325 apartments.
“This is a once-in-a-century opportunity” for San Jose, Kim Walesh, the city’s economic development director, told the council. “This is a dramatic opportunity to expand the downtown core westward.”
“The transit village would generate millions of dollars in tax revenue and add thousands of tech jobs in an area where experts have estimated that up to 3,000 housing units could be built, city officials said Tuesday. “It will mean more local jobs closer to home,” Nanci Klein, the city’s assistant director of economic development, said in a presentation to the council.”
While thousands of housing units have now been built in the downtown core, it is estimated that a further 3,00 units can be built within this new area. This adds significant tax dollars for San Jose, as well as more high-tech jobs to boost the economy.
“I am supportive of Google’s interest in coming to San Jose and expect they will continue to be the great corporate citizen they have shown to be in other communities,” San Jose City Councilman Sergio Jimenez stated in a letter to the City Council. “It is my sense that Google recognizes and appreciates the impacts this project will have on our city.”
While some locals have decried Google’s choke hold on potential downtown properties in a city that is experiencing high housing demand, the Mayor of San Jose is more upbeat: “Google is not in the business of solving the city’s problems,” the mayor said. “Google didn’t cause these problems. These are problems we have to solve.”