News broke this week about Google’s potential purchase of 240 acres of land in the downtown San Jose area. Besides bringing 20,000 jobs to the South Bay, the implication to the region’s economy and real estate market will be significant. Let’s explore what the proposed mixed-use real estate development could mean to would-be homebuyers and homeowners.
South Bay Googleplex Details As We Know It
According to the San Jose Mercury News article, here’s what we know:
- Google is looking to create a 6 million square feet of mixed-use development eclipsing its current Mountain View headquarters which has 3.1 million square feet. The new work hub could employ up to 20,000 people in this mega campus.
- The big attraction to the area is the Diridon Station which provides access to CalTrain, light rail and Amtrak. The station is even slated for Bart expansion and high-speed rail-line connections.
- With transit upgrades and wooing employers like Google, San Jose is positioning itself for growth — eight times the number of commuters currently flocking to downtown jobs. According to Mayor Sam Liccardo, San Jose wants to “re-imagine Silicon Valley’s landscape by creating a vibrant, architecturally iconic, transit-focused village that provides a model for a more sustainable future.”
Will It Really Happen?
Officially Google is still in “formal discussions.” As with any negotiation, the final deal may look somewhat different than the rosy picture painted in the Merc and SJ Mayor. That said, it puts the spotlight on the South Bay’s growth, the region’s ability to draw big employers, and create an infrastructure that accommodates an influx of workers.
The Benefit to South Bay Neighborhoods
Traffic and affordable housing are issues commonly debated in Silicon Valley. With a strong economy, our roads are packed with commuters. Homes continue to appreciate to levels where workers find it difficult to afford. We don’t know where the market will take us. Home appreciation rarely follows a straight line. Even so, with the projected growth of the area, homes in SJ neighborhoods (e.g., Willow Glen, Rose Garden, and Almaden Valley) along with cities like Campbell, Los Gatos, and Saratoga will continue to be very attractive especially since buyers prefer reasonable commutes or access to transit. For workers who seek more affordable housing or want larger lot sizes, I anticipate cities like Morgan Hill and Gilroy will see an influx.
How do you think the new Google Mega Plex in San Jose will shape our future?