Google’s Plans for 800,000 SQFT Office Development in Mountain View Approved—With One Condition

Google, Mountain View, Google Landings

By Meghan Hall

After two years of careful planning, Google’s plans for a new, 800,000 square foot office building and related parking garage in Mountain View’s North Bayshore neighborhood have been given the green light to move forward, pending one major condition: submit building permits for the development within the next two years, or return to the City Council to re-evaluate and reconsider the project in the future. The condition for the project arose out of concerns expressed by councilmembers over the feasibility and timing of the office project.

Called “Google Landings,” the project, including the parking garage, will total nearly 1.2 million square feet. The project site totals nearly 41.66 acres and will include the replacement of 15 office buildings—currently totaling 258,224 square feet—with a single, 799,482 square foot office building with one level of underground parking. The office building, referred to as Landing Office in project documents, will be located on Landings Drive, south of Charleston Rd., west of Permanente Creek and north of U.S. 101. The ground floor will include entry lobbies, employee cafes and associated employee amenities.  

“This [site has] nine very disconnected buildings surrounded by a sea of parking,” explained Drew Wenzel, a real estate development director at Google. “…Our intent is to take that parking, stick it underground and build something that is a whole lot more connected and useable on top of it.”

Also included in the project plans is a four-story parking structure denoted as the Huff Garage. The garage will be situated not far away, between Alta and Huff Avenues at the midblock between Charleston Road and Plymouth Street. The structure will have 910 ground level parking spaces, with the remaining spaces made up using stackers. The ground floor will also feature 10,496 square feet of retail. In the future, the building could be converted to either office or residential uses, given versatile engineering.

“We spent a considerable amount of effort making sure this building is not a single-purpose structure. This building is engineered structurally to be converted to office or residential at some point,” stated Wenzel. “…Our hope this is a really great case study for how we build structures that are not just torn down when we’re done with them and help us move from our car dependent culture now to a new future.”

Despite this flexibility, however, councilmembers expressed concern that while the parking garage would be built, as it would serve other Google projects in the area, the technology firm may elect down the line not to move forward with the office portion of the project. In an effort to encourage Google to move forward with its development plans—as Wenzel and Michael Tymoff, Google’s district development director, gave no timeline for the project—City Council added an amendment stating that Google would need to pull building permits within two years. Failure to do so would place the project before the council again for reconsideration.

The motion was initially proposed by Councilmember Alison Hicks, as the City Council asked concerns around parking and the project’s timeline. Ultimately, the City Council approved the project with the amendment 7-0, allowing Google to proceed for the time being.

Tymoff assured the Councilmembers that no matter how Google proceeded, it would remain committed to Mountain View.

“Mountain View is our home,” he said. “It has been our home for over 20 years, and we’re here for the long-haul.”

Upon the project’s completion, the Google Landings project is expected to bring $44.673 million worth of community benefits to Mountain View. A large chunk will go towards land improvements, adjacent open space and zero net water for the project. Cash contributions include $20.4 million towards public works, $2.5 million to community services and disadvantaged families in the area, and $900,000 to the Magical Bridge Foundation. 

West Coast Commercial Real Estate News