After completing the first phase of demolition, Google has paused construction efforts on its Downtown West campus in San Jose. Google fought for years to convince the city to approve this development project through numerous protests, negotiations, and plans to redesign the area into a new neighborhood.
Originally approved for the 30-year development agreement for an 80-acre project in 2021, the Downtown West campus was intended to become one of Google’s largest projects, estimated to raise the land value to $19 billion while eventually creating an additional 20,000 to the area.
The goal of this massive development project was to create a workspace reminiscent of “the center of a city, not a suburban office park.” The campus would be a blend of 7.3 million square feet of offices mixed with 50,000 square feet of public spaces, stores, and restaurants. The plans also included 4,000 housing units and 15 acres of parks.
Google planned to break ground before the end of 2023. But now all progress on construction has come to a halt, ascribing the pause to a broader economic downturn due to a decrease in advertisers and new competition threatening its position as the leading search engine site. Amongst other concerns, Google has resorted to downsizing efforts involving eliminating the development team.
Currently, Google stated the company doesn’t have plans to restart construction but remains hopeful to resume at a later date, although commenting “the project may not reach the scale promised in the original master plan.” However, a few sources have wondered if the finished Downtown West campus will actually happen and, if so, when.
This is a growing concern for many in the area, who were promised a beautiful campus complete with walking trails, a plaza for events, gardens, and outdoor educational spaces. Instead, local residents are left with the demolished land and no answers yet as to when Google will proceed.