Early this year, Google unveiled renderings of several clear, tent-like buildings that would replace its current Silicon Valley headquarters, known as the “Googleplex.” Renderings may be about as far as the idea is likely to go.
The city council handed LinkedIn about 1.4 million square feet, the lion’s share of roughly 2.2 million square feet of available commercial square footage for the area. Google came away with 515,000 square feet — enough for just one piece of its futuristic four-part campus expansion.Google received about 500,000 square feet, or about enough to build one of the four buildings it had proposed.
“To have one building — it’s a significant blow,” David Radcliffe, vice president of real estate and workplace services for Google, told the council before the vote. Google representatives declined to talk to me after the meeting.“We know the City Council had a tough decision to make last night and thank them and our community for more than six hours of debate,” said David Radcliffe, Google’s vice president of real estate, in an emailed statement. He added that the company would “continue to work with the City on Google’s future in Mountain View.”
The outcome is clearly a huge disappointment for Google, which had requested essentially all of the available office space in February under a new city land-use plan that saw way more demand than supply. While no one expected Google to get all of its request, the relatively small allocation clearly stung the search giant, and a visibly upset Radcliffe openly questioned the reduced project’s feasibility.
The council decision, on a 4-3 vote, came at the stroke of midnight, six and a half hours after the meeting began. Council members tried to offer Google a lifeline, working in a possibility for further office growth. If Google were to tear down existing office space to build residential, Google could re-use that space in new office development elsewhere as long as traffic counts were kept at a minimum.