The first step in an ambitious plan by Google to turn downtown San Jose into a “mixed-use, transit-oriented office space” was approved last night. For the company, the campus portion could fit up to 20,000 Googlers, while the surrounding area would be drastically reshaped.

Last night, the San Jose City Council specifically voted (via the Mercury News) to enter exclusive negotiations to sell 16 plots of land to Google for this project.

Google envisions turning downtown San Jose and the Diridon Station Area into a campus with office and R&D space. Between 15,000 to 20,000 Google employees could work here, with the proximity to public transportation — rail, bus, and BART, along with pedestrian and cycling corridors — being a big draw.

Similar to their latest building in Mountain View, Google is again envisioning a mixed-use space that would incorporate the community, as well as retail and commercial shops:

The project’s plans anticipate significant investment over time, with world-class architecture, publicly accessible outdoor plazas and paseos, street-level retail shops, and a public greenbelt and park along the Los Gatos Creek.

Google, along with its development partner, has already purchased 240-acres in downtown San Jose, but the 16 city-owned regions are required to realize this ambitious plan. In total, the final project could envelope 6-8 million square feet.

The city appears to be supportive of this deal, with those hesitant encouraging Google to conduct “extensive” community outreach.


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