Google, San Jose reveal agreement with huge community investments

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — Google is making major investments in San Jose.

The company and city’s Downtown West project will create a mixed-use space in the Diridon Station Area. Google is redeveloping about 80 acres.

The Downtown West Mixed-use Project, first initiated in 2014, proposes the construction of:

  • Up to 7.3 million gross square feet (GSF) of office space, including approximately 1 million GSF on the previously entitled San Jose Water Company Building site east of Los Gatos Creek;
  • 4,000 units of new housing (Draft EIR clears up to 5,900 units);
  • Up to 500,000 GSF of active uses (retail, cultural, arts, etc.);
  • 100,000 GSF of event space, hotel use (up to 300 rooms), and limited-term corporate accommodations (up to 800 rooms);
  • 15 acres of parks and open space; and
  • Infrastructure and utilities. 

On Tuesday, their Development Agreement went public, revealing specific commitments made by Google to benefit the community.

“The magnitude of this agreement is unprecedented and is a model for future public/private partnerships,” the city’s announcement said.

According to the city, if the plan is approved, Google would help create 4,000 new homes and 15 acres of open space, plus make way for additional small businesses and restaurants.

“In contrast to some large employers’ attempts to extract every form of public subsidy and tax relief from local communities, Google has chosen the more enlightened path, making bold commitments to build affordable housing, invest in educational opportunity, and create pathways to better jobs for local residents,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Together, San Jose and Google will establish the national standard for equitable, post-pandemic economic recovery. ” 

Part of the agreement includes a Community Stabilization and Opportunity Pathways Fund, which would “would provide grants for communities that have historically been affected by structural racism and are most vulnerable to displacement, including East San José and the Downtown,” the city said.

The plan also includes action to help San Jose residents get on a career track for “secure good-paying jobs.”

Google would provide grants for the following:

Programs and services related to adult and youth occupational skills training;   

  • College/post-secondary scholarships  
  • Career exploration for middle and high school youth  
  • Early childhood education
  • Small business and entrepreneurship support

In order to be implemented, the Development Agreement must be presented to and approved by the Station Area Advisory Group, then the San José Planning Commission, and finally the City Council.

The final meeting is set for May 25.

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