YouTube’s San Bruno Plans to Get Community Review

San Bruno, San Bruno’s City Council and Planning Commission, YouTube, Bayhill Office Park, Bay Area, Bayhill Office Park, El Camino Real

By Michele Chandler

San Bruno city officials and members of the public will have a say about how online video giant YouTube moves forward in its bid to add 400,000 square feet of office space to its existing campus in the 73-acre Bayhill Office Park.

A community workshop to solicit input from residents about the future development of the entire 89-acre Bayhill Specific Plan Area was held on August 30.

San Bruno’s City Council and Planning Commission met during a joint session on Aug. 16 to discuss the proposal, which will create a development road map for YouTube’s campus expansion as the San Bruno-based tech firm aims to accommodate growth it expects to occur during the next 20 years.

Next up in the process will be in-depth interviews with about 20 community stakeholders “to get their more detailed ideas, thoughts and concerns that should be studied in the preparation of the Specific Plan and environmental document,” said San Bruno Community Development Director David Woltering.

Those stakeholder discussions will occur by the end of September and will include representatives from local school districts, transit agencies, the Sierra Club and companies that now have offices in the 73-acre Bayhill Office Park, including Walmart.com and Gap Inc.

Three possible development alternatives will be selected and presented to the public, the San Bruno’s City Council and the San Bruno Planning Commission.

A preferred alternative will be selected in late 2017, Woltering said, and will be featured in public hearings next summer before going before the planning commission and city council for a vote in August 2018.

“We’ve been very clear with YouTube representatives that we understand their objectives to create a campus environment within our office park for their workforce,” said Woltering. “But, we also want to make sure that the interests of other property owners and wider community interests are being considered as part of a broader planning effort.”

Urban and regional planning firm Dyett & Bhatia of San Francisco was hired to help guide the development process for the office park, taking into account perspectives from YouTube as well as city officials, community members and other interested parties.

YouTube is paying the $785,000 consulting fee to create the plan, but the project is being managed and administered by San Bruno city staff, Woltering said.

“Things are going smoothly and great,” said Byett & Bhatia co-founder Rajeev Bhatia on Thursday before referring The Registry to San Bruno officials for further comment.

YouTube also has its own design professionals who are working on ideas for their property, Woltering said.

YouTube has been a tenant in Bayhill Office Park for a decade. YouTube’s 195,000-square-foot headquarters at 901 Cherry Avenue is currently owned by clothing firm Gap, Inc. and YouTube’s current lease there expires in 2021.

More recently, YouTube purchased buildings at 900 Cherry Ave. and 1000 Cherry Ave. in July of 2015 for $88 million and then made extensive improvements to accommodate their expanding workforce at those locations, which cover 200,000 square feet.

YouTube said it plans to add more employees in San Bruno and recently purchased six additional properties in the Bayhill Office Park that now house other tenants. That brings the company’s holdings to eight parcels of land within the office park that cover a total of 880,000 square feet of office area, according to the report.

Bayhill Office Park is home to the largest number of offices in the city and is bounded by I-380 to the north, I-280 to the west, San Bruno Avenue West to the south and El Camino Real to the east. YouTube owns or leases about two-thirds of space in Bayhill Office Park.

The entire office park covers 1.5 million feet of office space and will be covered by the Bayhill Area Specific Plan that is now being hammered out.

Woltering said that YouTube now has between 1,700 and 2,000 employees in San Bruno. A city report said the company is preparing for local employment to increase by 350 annually.

As leases expire, existing tenants would be phased out of the buildings that YouTube controls, the city’s report said. “Staff has informed YouTube representatives that other property owners’ interests would need to be considered in the context of the firm’s proposed expansion within the Bayhill Office Park,” according to the city’s report.

YouTube, an expanding video streaming service that’s part of Alphabet-owned search giant Google, is expected to see its revenue rise to $3.96 billion in in 2018, nearly double the $2.24 billion it registered in 2015, according to Statistica.

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