San Jose was already buzzing with news that Google is in talks with the City to build a 6 million square foot “mega-campus” near Diridon Station. Landlords and San Jose property management companies instantly speculated on the impact this would have on the local real estate market.Then, just a few days after the initial plans were leaked, City officials dropped another bomb: the mega-campus Google has in mind could actually swell to closer to 8 million square feet.A staff memo prepared in advance of a City Council meeting this week indicated that the massive development could actually be one-third larger than previously indicated. “Preliminary discussions with Google indicate interest in planning and building a master-planned transit-oriented development that includes between 6 and 8 million square feet of office/R&D space and retail/commercial amenities,” the staff report states.
Just how big is 8 million square feet?
To put it in perspective, that would be about the same size as five major regional shopping centers the size of Westfield Valley Fair mall in San Jose. Or, roughly the same size as the rest of downtown San Jose’s office market combined. It would be more than two and a half times the size of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View.Google envisions the campus as a way to combat gridlocked traffic and needlessly long commutes. Unlike the corporate campuses of yesteryear, which were located in sprawling suburbs, this mega-campus would be a new model of sustainable, transit-oriented campus design. Rather than the campus being walled-off from the rest of the community, Google’s San Jose campus would be integrated into the heart of the city.Already, local officials are speculating that the project could create upwards of 20,000 new jobs. This would be a game-changer for the city, agree San Jose property managers and real estate investors.“The scale of development Google has proposed is unlike any that San Jose has seen before,” says Mynd co-founder Colin Wiel. “And it is perfectly aligned with the other live/work trends we’ve been seeing in recent years. Young, creative people want to live in areas chock-full of amenities so they’re choosing to live in urban areas. Employers are responding. Google’s plans for a mega-campus in San Jose are indicative of the tech industry’s desire to locate as close to their workforce as possible.”Key to Google’s redevelopment of approximately 240-acres is the City’s willingness to sell 16 city-owned parcels to the tech giant. Tomorrow night, the San Jose City Council will vote on whether to open negotiations with Google to that end. Local landlords, developers and San Jose property management companies will be watching closely.Stay tuned as plans for the area continue to unfold. We’ll keep San Jose property managers, apartment owners and investors updated as we learn more along the way.