After nearly four years of securing community buy-in, Google’s plan for a campus in San Jose is moving forward. The city council unanimously approved the company’s Downtown West project Tuesday night, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. When completed, the 80 hectare website will be one of Google’s largest office complexes to date.
In a plan reminiscent of Alphabet’s failed bid for Sidewalk Labs in Toronto, the project envisions a mixed-use development that will be integrated into the city and partially open to the public. In addition to 7.3 million square feet of office space for around 20,000 employees, Google plans to build 4,000 residential units, 300 hotel rooms and at least 10 parks, as well as other amenities such as retail space and a service area.
In order to gain approval for the project, Google agreed to pay a unique $ 200 million community benefit that will be used to invest in programs to combat displacement and work readiness. The company also reached a last-minute agreement with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks to prevent the project from falling into a legal standstill. Construction work on the campus is scheduled to begin next year, but could take the majority of 10 to 30 years to complete.
Approval comes when some of the company’s employees return to their offices voluntarily. In early May, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the search giant would adopt a new hybrid workplace plan that would allow most employees to work from an office three days a week. As part of the same plan, Pichai said Google would also give workers more freedom to move between offices.