At a community meeting in San Jose, California on August 22nd, Google revealed its plans for the San Jose Transit Village. The mile-long village along the former industrial estate west of Highway 87 is expected to house 5.5 million square feet of office space for the technology company, 3,000 to 5,000 residential units and a total of 500,000 square feet for retail, culture and education, and 15 acres of green space. The proposed plan has the potential to employ 20,000-25,000 people.
The aim of the project is to create an urban center that is more about people than cars. The paths connect different squares and green areas in the framework plan from Google (and the planners from SITELAB Urban Studio). In the heart of the village is the preserved Diridon station, which has become one of the largest transport hubs on the west coast. In addition to serving San Jose, the station also acts as a transportation hub for Santa Clara County and Silicon Valley. As part of the area plan for the San Jose Diridon train station, it is planned that the stop will include a VTA light rail and a BART extension in the services available.
Google and Trammell Crow, a Texan private commercial real estate developer and investor, acquired privately owned land in the area for over a year. Last November, Google negotiated the sale of 10.5 acres of public property around Diridon Station for $ 109.87 million. Google’s proposal offers a complete redesign of the area and an exchange of the traditional closed tech campus design for businesses for an open concept plan that welcomes the community.
Alexa Arena, Google’s director of real estate development, insisted that both Google employees and San Jose residents want to get straight from the train station to a vibrant city. San Jose Economic Development Director Kim Walesh agreed with Arena’s views, telling Mercury News, “They designed a district that suited their office needs, but that feels like an extension of downtown … and very high quality , regular urban area, I think this must be a first. “
The master plan map posted at the San Jose meeting provides a clear idea of the company’s vision. The design aims to retain some of the industrial features of the San Jose neighborhood in the northern part of the village, with an emphasis on local retail and the countryside in the south.
According to the current project development plans, Google is receiving feedback from the residents of San Jose and refining their plans for the city application in October. The San Jose City Council will then officially review the project and take a final vote in the fall of 2020 so that part of the project may open by 2024.