It has been more than a decade since Google first set up shop in Mountain View, seven years since the search giant moved into its "Googleplex" in the North Bayshore business district and nearly five years since the Oxford English Dictionary officially recognized "Google" as a verb.
Now the company is preparing for another first. With the penning of a new 53-year land lease, Google is planning to construct a building in Mountain View for the first time.
"What it says to our community is that Google is willing to make a significant investment and clearly sees Mountain View as their headquarters," said Ellis Burns, assistant of community development for the city.
The Mountain View City Council recently abandoned plans to build a hotel and conference center on a site known as Charleston East, which sits next to the Google headquarters. The land that the city had planned to build on, along with another adjacent empty parcel, together comprise 18.6 acres upon which Google plans to build a new state of the art, "green" office space, according to Google spokesman Jordan Newman.
Newman said that Google is not divulging much information about the building it will construct on the site. However, he said that Burns was correct in his interpretation of the move. Google has had a good relationship with Mountain View and intends to continue working collaboratively with the city, he said.
"We're excited that the Mountain View City Council has approved our proposal to reallocate the southern half of the Charleston East as office space," said David Radcliffe, vice president of real estate and workplace services for Google, in a written statement. "This development is integral to our expansion plans as we continue to grow in Mountain View."
In addition to the money that will be generated for the city by the lease, Burns said Google's show of commitment to the city also makes Mountain View attractive to other tech companies -- especially startups.
"It creates synergy," Burns said, by contributing to the high-tech atmosphere of Mountain View. "I think the fact that they are building a building here is significant."