Fierce competition ahead for North Bayshore projects

Over 5 million new square feet of development proposed; LinkedIn partners with movie theater developer

Google's dramatic new campus proposal isn't the only project vying for a piece of the North Bayshore pie. On Feb. 27, Mountain View city planners received six other major North Bayshore development proposals that will be competing with Google for the City Council's favor in April.

The City Council's wish to restrain new development and job growth in North Bayshore to reduce impacts on local housing and traffic will be a serious challenge, given the number of high-profile proposals and enticing community benefits that have been submitted to the city for review.

Only 2.5 million square feet of new development is allowed in North Bayshore, and Google's project, if approved, would use up that entire allotment. The development cap was set by council members after facing considerable heat last year as office development was blamed for worsening Mountain View's housing shortage.

Now, plans for more than double the available amount have been proposed (6.2 million square feet of offices); that figure includes Google's 2.5-million-square-foot proposed campus.

The second largest proposal is for 1.6 million square feet of additional office space for LinkedIn, with cafes, shops, a Villasport spa and fitness center, and a new two-story, 15-screen Century movie theater. LinkedIn and theater owner Syufy Enterprises propose to redevelop the entire movie theater site and adjacent buildings at the corner of Highway 101 and North Shoreline Boulevard, now home to Gold's Gym, Togo's Laserquest and Cheryl Burke dance studio, among others.

To entice the council to approve the project, LinkedIn and Syufy are offering to renovate the city's library a project the city valued at $1.4 million last year. They would build a new pedestrian bridge over Highway 101 along North Shoreline Boulevard and set aside 30,000 to 50,000 square feet of space to help save some local small businesses. Their LEED platinum buildings would have "net-zero" energy usage, thanks to efficient design and a massive solar panel installation.

If the project is cut in size, some of those benefits would go away.

If council members find the LinkedIn and Google proposals irresistible, they may be looking to cut back one of the remaining five proposals:

** a 108,000 square-foot, five-story, 200-room hotel by the Shashi Group for 1625 North Shoreline Blvd.

**a 1 million-square-foot campus of seven-story buildings with underground parking proposed by Peery-Arillaga for addresses on both sides of North Rengstorff Avenue, just north of Highway 101.

** a three-story, 190,876-square-foot office building by developer Rees Commercial for 2629 Terminal Blvd.

** a 703,148-square-foot campus by the Sobrato Organization with four new buildings that are three- and four-stories tall, at 1255 Pear Ave., with parking garages.

** a 224,505-square-foot, six-story, LEED platinum office and parking structure 1625 Plymouth St. by developer Broadreach Capital.

Community benefits for those projects include a 61,000-square-foot park from Sobrato, new trails at the western Shoreline Park entrance from Rees, and a $10.2 million payment to the city from Broadreach for transportation infrastructure in North Bayshore.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.


23 people like this
Posted by LoveYourDNA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 3, 2015 at 3:06 pm

How about just saying no? Enough, already!

11 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 10:42 am

Most cities would love to have these jobs. For good business reasons, Google wants to keep their teams located close together. If we want Google to leave, we need to send them a clear message now.

6 people like this
Posted by Exciting times
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 1:17 pm

I bet Redmond WA experienced similar growing pains in the 80s when Microsoft exploded.

6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm

I would not mind if Google moved away or a cap was put on the amount of employees entering their Campus each day

9 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Mar 4, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Is the opposition to the number of employees at Google? Or to the number of cars parked at Google? If the problem is the number of cars, then just put a cap on the number of parking spaces on their property. Employees arriving via Google Bus or bicycle from the train station really have minimal effect on our city.

5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Jackson Park
on Mar 4, 2015 at 3:57 pm

All bikes and buses only add to the overwhelming traffic in my neighborhood. It has an effect on everyone trying to get to work, to school and the response time for our emergency responders to come to those that need their help.

16 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Mar 4, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Bears repeating -

I grew up in this valley and have lived all over the country before moving back in 2000. One of the great failings of this area is our utter lack of creative, innovative or even generally good looking architecture. SF has the Transamerica Pyramid, Coit Tower and little else. The South Bay's most architecturally interesting structures are Hangar 1 (built in 1933) and a pedestrian footbridge over 280 near Wolf Rd.

Apple is soon to change this landscape a bit, though I fear from the outside, at ground level, it'll look something like a rounded off version of The Pentagon.

Mountain View has this, and only this, opportunity to be the home to something lasting, innovative, creative and beautiful. To create not just for the area, but for the world, a touchstone for the confluence of art, science, sustainability, and utility and all while creating a place where Mountain View residents can recreate and live as well.

Combining sustainable and beautiful commercial structures that offer public spaces with housing and infrastructure in the North Bayshore area MUST happen. The undeniable answer to Mountain View's soaring real estate prices is to increase inventory. The best place to put that inventory is close to where it's residents will work, not along El Camino further clogging that already overloaded artery (and don't get me started on that insane VTA BRT boondoggle).

Google & Linkedin and other N. Bayshore companies have already done great things in terms of mitigating the traffic impact of their employees. Each of those buses (that so many non-thinking people like to complain about) takes 60-65 cars off the road and saves untold gallons of fuel & emissions. All privately funded and all to the benefit of you & I.

By putting a percentage of those companies’ workforces within walking distance of their office space they will further alleviate the traffic impact on the S. Bay and reduce the need for vast expanses of paved parking areas around the commercial buildings.

The list of who is able to do something like this can be tallied on one hand. If Mountain View blows this opportunity, there will not be another and we'll be left, both literally and figuratively with a bunch of old, inefficient, 80's era commercial buildings....and nobody to occupy them. Those companies ARE going to continue to grow.

The question for our City Council is where?

The Mountain View City council needs to stop being the crotchety anti-growth "get off my lawn" body that it has been for years and embrace these projects. Embrace job growth. Embrace real-estate inventory growth. Embrace innovation. Embrace creativity. Embrace sustainability. Embrace art & beauty in architecture.

In doing so they have the opportunity to be a part of the solution rather than the obstacle they have heretofore been.

12 people like this
Posted by Christopher Chiang
a resident of North Bayshore
on Mar 4, 2015 at 7:14 pm

I don't deny there are real problems our community needs to solve regarding growth, but some perspective:
Companies are bending over backwards to bring jobs to our city and region. In so many parts of America, it's cities that are bending over backwards in incentive to lure companies.

So many cities would love to have "MV problems."

9 people like this
Posted by Reality
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Mar 5, 2015 at 12:17 am

Companies want to come here because that is where the talent is. The talent is here because the Bay Area is a good place to live. Unfortunately, creating ultra-high density areas, chain business shopping centers and failure to have rent control is rapidly ruining this area.

Mark my words. People will soon wise up and locate wave of companies in cities that value natural beauty, quality of life, parks and the like. There are "market forces" that strive to control the narrative and make massive profits in selling out our home. We need to take note of this and ensure that development does not destroy what we have worked so hard to create.

10 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2015 at 10:09 am

I'd suggest City Council to request concessions on the Rights of Way for future public transportation needs instead of little community benefits here and there.

Rights of Way is crucial for future growth. Expanding public transportation is inevitable. New campus design can help a lot by designating certain paths for not-so-light rails in the future, even if we lack funds to build it now.

Consider Highway 85. The Rights of Way was secured in 1950. The actual highway was completed in 1994. But without the Rights, cost of land acquisition would have made it impossible to build Highway 85.

A little library improvement here, a small park there, a few low-income units are too short-sighted in comparison.

So I'd strongly urge City Council to have a bigger vision and ask Google, LinkedIn and others to donate Rights of Way for rails, bike paths, bridges, etc. when reviewing their expansion plans.

3 people like this
Posted by tommygee54
a resident of Rex Manor
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:55 pm

An item from the story...

... and a new two-story, 15-screen Century movie theater. LinkedIn and theater owner Syufy Enterprises propose to redevelop the entire movie theater site...

I know that this theater has been at the site for over 30 years, but if it is torn down, will the space be empty for years? Also this theater is in the middle of being renovated, complete with lounge chairs in the auditoriums. Even the lobby looks better.

I thought Syufy sold this theater years ago. In the meantime I did go to a movie this past Monday, 3/2. I asked the manager if this theater is really being torn down. And he said 'absolutely not'!!! Perhaps this manager does not know the full details from LinkedIn and Syufy Enterprises. No matter what, I just can't be without my Mtn. View Century Theater complex despite the fact that this center is 30 + years old. I am only a mile away.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

Su Hong 2.0? Former waiter reopens Chinese standby under new name in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 10 comments | 6,351 views

Living as Roommates? Not Having Much Sex?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,966 views

What gives you hope?
By Sherry Listgarten | 9 comments | 2,964 views


The holidays are here!

From live music to a visit with Santa, here's a look at some local holiday activities to help you get into the spirit of the season.