Over the past few years, Google has raised some eyebrows by investing in over $600 million worth of real estate in Mountain View, California. Nestled in the suburbs of Silicon Valley, Mountain View is home to Google’s headquarters, cutely named the Googleplex.
As Google continues to grow and expand, their real estate needs have become both greater and more diverse. This has lead to mixed feelings among the Mountain View community. Some say that the 24 office buildings that Google has acquired are necessary to allow the tech giant to expand and bring more jobs to the city, while others worry that this kind of massive expansion will cause traffic, strain on infrastructure, and a lack of affordable housing for those not employed in the lucrative tech sector.
The other strange element of these acquisitions is the nature of the buildings themselves. The spaces that Google has been acquiring are not necessarily cutting-edge offices which has led to speculation (some confirmed by Google) that the company plans large scale renovations and additions, if not a total demolish and rebuild. Community leader, and Mountain View’s Director of the Center for Public Environmental Oversight is one of the opponents to the plan. He believes that if Google grows by the tens of thousands, which is roughly the capacity for the proposed high-rises, that residents will no longer be able to afford to live in Mountain View.
While it’s hard to imagine Mountain View saying no to their flagship resident and arguably the most powerful company in the world, Google still has several obstacles to leap before the plan can come to fruition. City zoning laws would need to be changed to allow Google to transform the sprawling locations they’ve purchased into the 5-10 story, higher density workspaces their growth requires.
For those interested in the confluence of tech and real estate, this is a story to watch in 2014 and beyond. You can check out the full article at Mercury News.
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