News

Google, LinkedIn announce massive land swap

LinkedIn cedes North Bayshore to Google, consolidates properties on Sunnyvale border

Google and LinkedIn officials on Tuesday announced a surprise deal for a massive property swap that would trade real estate and development rights, consolidating Google's presence in Mountain View and effectively sending LinkedIn out of North Bayshore and over to the Sunnyvale border.

Both companies characterized the deal as mutually beneficial, allowing them to consolidate property surrounding their respective campuses while streamlining responsibility for a hodgepodge of transportation improvements required by the city.

The deal would involve about 2.5 million square feet of office space between the two tech giants, including sites already built and occupied as well as areas with development rights for future construction.

Perhaps the biggest chip tossed into the pot is LinkedIn's colossal 10-building project, dubbed the "Shoreline Commons," that is slated to occupy the North Bayshore gateway along Shoreline Boulevard. The project will be handed over to Google, which would continue working with the five other landowners collaborating to build a mixed-use campus.

LinkedIn's Shoreline Commons proposal, which got the city's blessing in October, calls for a new hotel, movie theater, shops and restaurants that would create a sort of mini-downtown to serve the thousands of new apartments being planned in North Bayshore.

For now at least, Google officials intend to move forward on the plans for Shoreline Commons, although the development could be tweaked in the coming months, said Mark Golan, Google's vice president of real estate.

"As of now, there's no change. That development is proceeding as it was originally anticipated," he told the Voice. "At the end of the day, this is a positive transaction for LinkedIn, Google and the city itself."

LinkedIn will also hand over to Google the area now used as its global headquarters, a six-building site along Stierlin Court. Those buildings are currently leased by LinkedIn and total about 375,000 square feet of office space. Google would take over the lease as part of the deal.

The deal would result in LinkedIn making a complete exit from Mountain View's North Bayshore while Google continues to increase its presence. But while LinkedIn will need to move 3,700 employees, the company also gains a sizable new foothold just south of Highway 101.

In exchange, LinkedIn is acquiring ownership of seven buildings near East Middlefield Road and Maude Avenue, totaling about 750,000 square feet of office space. The properties add up to about 28 acres along the border of Sunnyvale that would become LinkedIn's new headquarters. LinkedIn already owns about 10 buildings nearby, so the new sites from the trade help create one unified flagship campus for the company, said LinkedIn Vice President Jim Mortgensen.

"This lets us get our employees in a walkable campus by this year," he said. "This is huge; this lets us foster our culture of collaboration, and it gets our research and development teams together so they produce better products."

Both companies hailed the new deal as a mutual win that would bolster their long-term growth; however, their relationship was hardly so amicable about one year ago. At that time, both companies were in a heated contest for a limited pool of office growth being allowed by the city. In a surprise move, Mountain View City Council members awarded LinkedIn the lion's share of development rights, despite pledges from Google to help build housing in the area, with plenty of lucrative public benefits thrown in.

In the background of this complicated property swap is the equally complex problem of traffic congestion in North Bayshore. As part of giving the green light to both companies' proposed developments in the area, Mountain View officials are requiring a variety of transportation improvements, including construction of a new frontage road as well as about $90 million in other other infrastructure projects.

Those transit requirements left both companies stuck in a dilemma. Last year, as LinkedIn brought its Shoreline Commons project forward for review, city officials pointed out that the company couldn't build its project unless Google agreed to contribute a portion of its land for a pedestrian bridge over Highway 101 and a new off-ramp at La Avenida.

Similarly, Google's various proposed developments in the region could conceivably have been obstructed if LinkedIn refused to participate in traffic mitigation.

At the time, LinkedIn officials gave public assurances the situation wouldn't be a problem, but it turns out to have been a bigger concern than was publicly revealed. In fact, both companies had already started discussions over a possible property trade last summer, Mortgensen said.

"For Google, this (property trade) makes perfect sense. More than anything else, it takes the issue of all the transportation infrastructure that the city needs and it leaves it with one party," he said. "Google no longer has to do things that would be for the benefit of LinkedIn. That friction between us really wasn't very good."

For their part, city officials say they have known for months that the two companies were having back-room discussions about a land swap. The new deal resolves a tricky question for the city over how to fairly balance development rights between two companies that would have been forced to cooperate while competing, said Mountain View Community Development Director Randy Tsuda.

"If one company would have installed certain improvements that benefit another company, is that equitable?" Tsuda said. "The conclusion they all came to through their conversations was it's simpler to coordinate if one company was in control and had the major presence in North Bayshore."

But plenty of questions remain over the particulars of the deal. For example, last year, when city officials approved LinkedIn's Shoreline Commons project, the company pledged it would donate $40 million to MidPen Housing to help provide affordable housing in Mountain View. LinkedIn confirmed that it will not be writing that check, and city officials say that responsibility for that approximate sum would likely be shifted to Google as a housing-impact fee for the project. Google officials couldn't respond to the Voice's questions about it.

Also up in the air is the future of a row of North Bayshore small businesses that were to be redeveloped for the Shoreline Commons project. Last week, the owners of Pakistani and Indian restaurant Zareen's announced they are opening a second Palo Alto location, based partly on fears that they would need to close their Plymouth Drive location in Mountain View due to what will now be Google's expansion.

Under the cloud of looming redevelopment, the situation for the area's independent cafes and other eateries has felt half like a "bargaining chip" and half like a "chess piece" in the larger corporate game, said Rob Graham, the owner of the Sports Page Bar and Grill.

He recalled Google throwing a party at his pub when the company's then-modest team of 100 workers launched their initial public offering. He said he remained nervous, but hopeful that the tech giant would consider his business' future with sensitivity.

"I don't know what's going to happen with the land swap. I have no control over that," he said. "But I do have a little bit more confidence. I know the people at Google and maybe they're not so big that they're going to run over me."

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Comments

18 people like this
Posted by another MV resident
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2016 at 7:53 am

When Google was rejected by the city last year, the city lost Google's offer of $200 million in public benefits.
All these recent plans look like less. I hope someone can say that I am wrong.

It would be the biggest shame if Google by piece meal gets their square footage over time, but the city lost the $200 million in public benefits meant to offset the many real hardships that come with new development.

Can the city go back and give Google the chance to build their bold world-class campus along with the public benefits they promised? I hope residents encourage the city to restart the planning process with Google if current developments are less innovative and mutually beneficial.


16 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of North Bayshore
on Jul 12, 2016 at 10:03 am

Google probably made LinkedIn an offer they couldn't refuse: either give us your land or we'll hostile takeover your whole company.


16 people like this
Posted by Thanks, Google!
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 12, 2016 at 10:55 am

The article states: "In a surprise move, Mountain View City Council members awarded LinkedIn the lion's share of development rights, despite pledges from Google to help build housing in the area, with plenty of lucrative public benefits thrown in."

And now it tells us that this swap, "For Google, this (property trade) makes perfect sense. More than anything else, it takes the issue of all the transportation infrastructure that the city needs and it leaves it with one party."

Sounds like the city council got it wrong and it took Google and LinkedIn to fix it.

Maybe we should ask Google what we should do with the Castro Street closure at Central.


5 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 11:06 am

AC is a registered user.

Oh boy.

I'm really interested in reading others' thoughts on this.


20 people like this
Posted by Jes' Sayin'
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2016 at 11:37 am

Probably bad for Mountain View. It was better when they had two companies competing with each other. Then Mountain View was in charge. Now they lost that. Plus Google gives way more free food and things like housing subsidies to Googlers. Both hurt local businesses and drives up housing prices.


15 people like this
Posted by Kathy
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 12, 2016 at 11:37 am

So has Google bought the naming rights to Mountain View yet? Googleville? What percentage of MV Commercial real estate is owned by Google?


31 people like this
Posted by Oh No
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2016 at 11:50 am

Google is new and different...be afraid of it.
I want the good old days back when MV companies used to pour TCE down the drains or out in the back field. Ahh, the memories of our quaint little town; when will we come back to those MV days gone by.


5 people like this
Posted by mary hodder
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 12, 2016 at 12:06 pm

15 months ago I suggested to the city that they use the opportunity to force Google to use their extremely good negotiating powers to make a deal with BART and run it down 101.. to MV.. and putting in only two stations (Rengsdorf and Shoreline -- leaving everyone between Milpitas and MV to then add their own as desired).

Obviously our city is rather unsophisticated in making a deal like this, but why not try? The offer from MV? Google gets all of North Bayshore.

15 months ago I pointed out that Linked In is a zombie company and won't last the building phase of North Bayshore, and this was our opportunity to get some real transit.

Google has 184Billion in it's back pocket (that old jeans pocket in the Caymens) that they never paid taxes on anyway.. so why not try for this? It's worth a shot, right?

The city did the solomon deal instead: some to developers who (surprise !!) the next day after the city council meeting said: "we're renting it all to Google" {{wink, wink}}, and LI and Goog. I figured it would take Goog 5 years to get all of North Bayshore. But they did it in 15 months. Smart and savvy.

And a huge wasted opportunity for MV. I know we aren't in the transit biz, but we could have held NBayshore over Goog's head to get transit and relieve a lot of the traffic issues.. and they could have spent $15b on a 15 mile extension down 101.

Oh well.. MV is a sleepy place lost in the 50's and Google is no match for us. It's so not a fair fight.


14 people like this
Posted by AreWeBecomingGoogleville?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2016 at 12:42 pm

This is huge -- and a little bit concerning.

At least with both Google and LinkedIn in MV, there was some diversity in the large tech companies -- not just in the N. Bayshore are, but economically. It seems MV is essentially becoming a "company town"....let's call it what it is: Googleville. And should that tech behemoth somehow hit hard times, so too will nearby businesses and those that directly support Google. Then there's the sudden downward pressure on housing, which, while good for renters and would-be house-buyers, would negatively impact property owners whose incomes are closely tied to local real estate.

Welcome to Googleville, friends.


5 people like this
Posted by AreWeBecomingGoogleville?
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2016 at 1:08 pm

This had to have been Google's Plan B in the event the city council gave the nod to LinkedIn for developing that real estate.


4 people like this
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 1:45 pm

This sounds like a good time to mention that the VTA lightrail could continue along the east side of 101 right up to Redwood City with a spur going to Castro Street.

Of course that would mean VTA going into San Mateo county, but the counties are not islands and the boundaries are not Berlin Walls. People work and live in different counties and want to get across these county borders. It is past beyond time of thinking that Caltrain can cater for all the commuters and ridiculous to think that buses along ECR are going to help. The growth along the east of 101 is where people need to go to work and something innovative has to be done.


17 people like this
Posted by Newsflash
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2016 at 1:53 pm


Mountain View city leaders have sold (out) it's collective soul in SO many ways it's heartbreaking. What a disgrace.

Do I fear technology and change? Of course not. Is there such a thing as too much of a "good thing"? Of course there is...and presently, we're all suffering from the fallout of this "good thing".

Loving something to death is never a good thing.


26 people like this
Posted by Redmond Washington
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2016 at 2:03 pm

Even today it is still known as "Redmond, Washington", not "Microsoftville"
Quit being such drama queens. "Sleepy" MV was changed in the 80's and 90's. This is not some new thing, its just that one of the companies based in MV became wildly successful. Oh darn.


27 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 12, 2016 at 2:55 pm

Had the MV city council made the right decision last year we'd have had the same eventual result and MV would have benefited far more by the benefits alluded to by the 1st poster above.

Instead, Google gets what it needs, MicroLinkedInsoft gets what it needs and MV....though it still has the tremendous benefit of the monetary and cultural contribution to our community via it's resident employees, loses out on a great deal that would have come by virtue of Google's original proposal.

Bravo to the short sighted members of the community who opposed the original plan and to the short sighted MV city council who shot it down.....dolts.


13 people like this
Posted by Gary Pace
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2016 at 3:11 pm

Both of these corporations should relocate to Texas. We have great communities, a fantastic tax rate, and awesome Universities & Colleges and yes, water. At the least they should consider such a move.


11 people like this
Posted by @Gary Pace
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2016 at 3:39 pm

If Texas was so great they wouldn't have to be pathetically begging companies to move there so much. Yep, we know all about the benefits, but we also know the rest of the story on TX. That's why the biggest most successful tech companies are here and not there.


16 people like this
Posted by concerned homeowner
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 12, 2016 at 4:09 pm

By doing a swap and avoiding reassessment, how much will the taxpayers lose out on real estate taxes that would have increased if the properties changed hands by purchases/sales? I fear another instance in the long, drawn out saga of how Prop 13 has kept our society from investing in important community resources, such as schools and traffic infrastructure.


10 people like this
Posted by Eateries
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 12, 2016 at 11:05 pm

I hope that as North Bayshore transitions into a broader mixed-use facility, Google will consider partnering with local eateries rather than building more cafeterias, by paying the bill for their employees who swipe their badge. I have seen this work for other large companies, it helps foster diversity in local businesses that can also operate independently. Google already invites some food trucks on campus, perhaps this is the next logical step.


7 people like this
Posted by Ho hum
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2016 at 2:41 am

It's just two different giant monopolies. LinkedIn is being bought by Microsoft. So the existing Microsoft complex in NBS is another question.

The VTA light rail is so slow that it's barely usable as it is. Extending it to NBS is not much help, and certainly not to extend it to San Mateo county. BART is actually at capacity already at many stations. BART doesn't serve the residential areas of San Francisco where some Google and Linkedin employees live. CalTrain is a much better
service if the SF resident is going to have to travel to a central pick up point
like BART stations.

Seems like the only thing this swap will help is the private bus services of Google and Linked In. LinkedIn can avoid the NBS traffic and Google can reach many more of its buildings on the same routes.


5 people like this
Posted by Property
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2016 at 2:45 am

What happens when Google buys Yahoo? Yahoo has a lot of land in Sunnyvale up
near NBS, by the Moffet south gate. Layoffs are bound to ensue and this will free
office space currently occupied by Yahoo workers.

Or, will it be Microsoft who buys Yahoo? Similar situation.

Then when the economy turns south next month, even more layoffs will come to light.
Soon we'll be swimming in office space.


3 people like this
Posted by @Property
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2016 at 7:29 am

I bet you don't have a set of actual numbers with examples of duplicity to go with your imagined "What if" scenarios. Have you even sniffed at the projected growth and employment numbers in the Valley? They don't support your unsubstantiated opinion at all...not even close. What data are you pulling from?


5 people like this
Posted by @concerned homeowner
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 13, 2016 at 8:19 am

It sounds like most of the properties being swapped were recent purchases in 2014 2015, so they're probably already being assessed close to market value. But I THINK they'll still get reassessed for the swaps, excluding the leased properties.


9 people like this
Posted by Get the facts prior to drama queening
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2016 at 8:58 am

What percentage of people in MV work for Google compared to NOT working for Google.
BOOM goes the googleville conspiracy theory. Thanks facts :)
Tom from Redmond, WA :) :) :)


9 people like this
Posted by Newsflash
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2016 at 9:08 am


For those who may be interested in California's tax law. Below is the link to the California State Board of Equalization website, Legal Entity Ownership Program (LEOP) – Exclusions from Reassessment.

Web Link


40 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 13, 2016 at 10:15 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I find it extraordinarily interesting that those of us that moved to Mountain View because of the standard of living, amenities, and sense of community that it offered are being lambasted by those who think that large corporations should be allowed to run roughshod all over the city just because they can.

I work in the tech industry so I don't fear technology, nor do I fear change as long as it i managed and as long as it is not detrimental to the community. However, over the last few years, I have seen that this is not the case. In my opinion, development has been proceeding at a breakneck pace without regard to the impact on the quality of life on long term residents.

Many of us moved here precisely because we don't want to live in San Francisco or Manhattan. Mountain View is a small town by definition in terms of square miles if nothing else. That means that there is only so much you can squeeze into 12 square miles without generating major problems, and we are already seeing those problems being manifested in terms of skyrocketing rents, the demise and/or dislocation of small businesses, and the encroachment of high tech onto and closure of Castro St.

It also cannot be expected that any native population is going to be thankful for being displaced and thrown out of homes that they have lived in for a long time (some for decades) or ruining the peace and tranquility we had become accustomed to. We are seeing our neighborhood streets clogged with Shuttles, Google cars, and employees walking back and forth in front of our homes like drones while talking on their cell phones about their jobs.

I find the attitude that some have "We're taking over and changing everything so if you don't like it you can leave" to be offensive to say the least. Especially comments that indicate that people that don't want to have Mountain View fundamentally transformed want to go back to the days of having TCE and other pollutants instead. The choices are not that binary and it is ignorant to even suggest that they are.

All that being said, it is great to have a successful business in the city, but it is another thing to have the successful business become the city. With this merger, we have basically become a one horse town where the town is made from hay and the horse is hungry!


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


5 people like this
Posted by Make Google go flex hours
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2016 at 2:19 pm

We should start demanding companies allow their employees to use felxibkle working hours. It worked great during the dot-com days. Making everyone come into the office at set hours is not only not working.


9 people like this
Posted by Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 13, 2016 at 2:46 pm

Google already has flexible hours. The free breakfast is just a way to incentivize coming in before 9:30am.

Work from home is also very flexible.


17 people like this
Posted by Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 13, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Resident Angry Old Man, Jim Neal, Yells Loudly: Get Off My Laaawwwnnnnnn

Anyway, times change and that's ok. Populations grow. Lots of young people live here and their idea of what an SF suburb can/should be is slightly different.

Mountain View isn't a temporary city. It's not going to fold up and sink into the ground when you die. Your opinions aren't the only ones that matter. Just because you "got yours" doesn't mean you get to deny people the opportunity to call Mountain View home. Or that it has to spend the next 300-years as a time capsule from your childhood.

Young people are going to move here. The more change is resisted, the harder and bigger the change will be.


13 people like this
Posted by Litsa
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jul 13, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Does it really matter if it's LinkedIn or Google? More people, more cars, more congestion.
Welcome to Mtn. View and enjoy your alone time in gridlock on Shoreline, El Camino, San Antonio, Rengstorff, and Grant.


23 people like this
Posted by Young People
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2016 at 11:22 pm

Yeah, right 'young people.' Like everyone at Google will always STAY young. They fire them when they turn 40. It's been in the news.


48 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2016 at 8:51 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Thanks Kyle for your extremely insightful commentary. Personal attacks and insults always add so much to a well thought out community discussion.

Maybe when you turn 50, you too will appreciate the desire to want to remain in one place for more than 6 months to a year at a time. I am sure that you are so rich that you can afford to live wherever you want; however most of us cannot afford to have 20% rent increases every year.

I also don't know what you mean by "Just because you got yours". I'm a renter and have to contend with the possibility of being priced out of the the market here. And being homeless is not fun, I know from experience.

My opinions have nothing to do with "young people" being here and I did not say anything about young people in my commentary. I clearly stated that my problem is the city expanding too rapidly and making too many changes too quickly. If people want a Manhattan or San Francisco lifestyle, there are cities already built for that purpose. It sounds as if you have very little compassion for older people who have worked their whole lives and decided to retire in a nice small town, only to be evicted from homes they have lived in for over 30 years.

I have seen this happen first hand. There is a development project on Castro street where a woman who is over 80 is losing her home! Where is the compassion? As I said in my previous post, I do not fear change as long as it is managed and as long as it is not detrimental to the community.

Perhaps instead of being condescending and dismissive, the next time you will actually READ what other people write so your comments make sense.



Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


19 people like this
Posted by Business Minds
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jul 14, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Feels like our council was outfoxed on this one by a local company with savvy and business-wise real estate folks who outworked and outplayed our City. Not the first time.

In upcoming elections, please vote for candidates with REAL business experience. Candidates who have a proven history through their education and career experience to make seasoned and savvy decisions on our behalf. This is not a small town with relatively small issues. Our Council is making decisions on annual budgets of over $100 million, complex transportation issues involving multiple entities, and land use decisions that will impact Mountain View for the next 50 years.

Serious business. Vote for (or seek out) candidates who've demonstrated they're up to this kind of task.


3 people like this
Posted by Kyle
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 14, 2016 at 6:19 pm

So wait, you're a renter afraid of being priced out AND you don't want the city to expand because you like the "nice small town" vibe.

One is rational and makes sense. The other is abstract and wishy-washy, and makes your tangible fears a reality.

Within a 15-mile radius, you have nearly two trillion dollars in market cap. If cities don't build to accommodate the new populations, then SOMEONE gets displaced.

The only part of Mountain View's "small town" feeling that's at risk are weekend lines at restaurants. There's few places to put sky scrapers. Not much is changing in existing neighborhoods. You have a lot to gain by building as much as possible.


23 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 14, 2016 at 9:28 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

Kyle that isn't quite what I was saying. Again, I don't have a problem with the city expanding and growing. As I said, it needs to be managed growth. For example, if you add enough office space for 30,000 new jobs, but only enough housing for 1,500 people, guess what happens to your rent? Now imagine that every city or even just the majority of cities in the Bay Area are doing the same thing and I am sure you can see where it becomes a problem. 1 to 5% growth per year is manageable, but it must be balanced growth of jobs and housing.

Cities can expand and still keep a nice small town vibe. The city I came from, Cincinnati is like that with a metro population of 2 million and a great small town vibe, but we were not stacked and packed like sardines. Most homes and even apartments have nice yards and there is plenty of park space for kids to fly kites and play in.

My main argument has always been that building more and more offices without having the requisite housing to support it is a recipe for disaster. I don't mind the lines for restaurants or even to get into my favorite clubs on Castro; however I would have a problem with the skyscrapers because Mountain View does not have the infrastructure to support them and the jobs/housing imbalance would really skyrocket.

Currently, San Mateo is building the rough equivalent of another Mountain View where Bay Meadows used to be; and Redwood City is cranking out new apartment complexes. They have the space to build that and more and I'm fine with that, but Mountain View is just 12 landlocked and bay bordered square miles, so we can't easily add 60,000 new housing units in 5 years to keep up with office growth without fundamentally altering the city itself.

People will always need places to 'get away from it all', where they go to relax and have a coffee, and watch people casually stroll down the boulevard. Right now Mountain View is still one of those places, but maybe not for long.

I hope this clarifies the point I was trying to make.


9 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 17, 2016 at 9:01 am

Good-by Mt. View.

- Googleville
- Googleland
- San Google
- New Google
- Googleton
- Del Google


4 people like this
Posted by Nope
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 17, 2016 at 1:18 pm

@BusinessMinds

The council didn't get outfoxed. The company's changed their plans. Google was clearly the "loser" in the big land grab a year and a half ago. It made headlines. What you are saying is that they planned on losing because they had some sinister plan in their back pocket to force LinkedIn to swap properties, after LinkedIn had paid millions in legal fees in order to build what they thought would be a great corporate headquarters. The amount of work (and cost) both company's went through in order to plan their future campus was astounding. Coming from the mouths of the people involved in the deal, this makes the most sense (now) because of the demands of the city to have the corporations pay for the infrastructure improvements in the NBS. Sharing that expense simply wouldn't work. LinkedIn, not Google, needed this to happen after realizing that they couldn't afford what the City was demanding.

The council, if anything, outfoxed the businesses, because it will be their dollars, not ours, paying for it.

Your comment is simply wrong.


10 people like this
Posted by Business Minds
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Jul 17, 2016 at 5:40 pm

@Nope

Do you by chance serve on Council or work for the city?

The Council's attempt to split the baby has ended up with an even more monopolistic situation than ever before in NBS, and an even more unbalanced portfolio for our city. Google didn't get what it wanted in the City deal(s), and figured out a workaround.

MV could/should be getting significantly more from Google. Google is sitting on billions in cash. It was a prior council, but what did MV get for the lease of the Charleston parcel? Something like $750K/year for 30 years? The Google Treasurer was probably chuckling as he wrote the full 30 year check in advance.

Linked-In seemed like a good community partner, and now they're gone.


7 people like this
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 18, 2016 at 9:46 am

USA is a registered user.

@AllYouCanEat -- It is Mtn. View, not Mt. View

Mt. = Mount

Mtn. = Mountain


4 people like this
Posted by NotFromHere
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2016 at 10:45 am

@Jim Neal

Looks like Google/MV is living up to America's great history - forcing Indigenous people out of their land without any concern to their age or beliefs or even a fair opportunity to survive. That is the sad outcome of being the land of dreams.


9 people like this
Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 19, 2016 at 12:44 pm

@Jim Neal -
In your comment above on July 14, 9:28PM, you state "Currently, San Mateo is building the rough equivalent of another Mountain View where Bay Meadows used to be..."

Sorry, try again. The Bay Meadows development is barely a fraction of the size of Mountain View.

The entire Bay Meadows development consists of a little over 1,000 housing units and 750,000 square feet of office, plus some retail (see Web Link). By comparison, Mountain View had 33,881 housing units in 2010 (see page 41 of MV General Plan here Web Link). The 750,000 square feet of office space at Bay Meadows is roughly double the new space being added by Intuit in North Bayshore in just two four-story buildings (Web Link).

Jim - Your posts tend to be knee-jerk reactionary already - why further diminish them by including huge exaggerations like this one?



14 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 20, 2016 at 11:34 am

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@OMV Resident You are correct. I keep forgetting that many people don't understand humor or hyperbole and I need to make it more clear when I am using those devices. My main point is that there are a lot of other places that have the space to build brand new developments. Mountain View does not. Mountain View does not have large empty Bay Meadows-like spaces that are sitting empty waiting for someone to come along and throw thousands of new houses and new offices on it.

From your comment, I take it that you are in favor of tearing down existing housing and small business spaces and replacing them with more offices? Do you think we should keep adding more office space with no regard for the housing needed to support them? Do you think that we should continue the policies that have led to skyrocketing rents?

Attacking me won't take the focus of the facts that people are getting kicked out of their homes to make room for more offices, and that offices are now taking over Castro St. Perhaps if you had less of a knee-jerk reaction to me, were less interested in distracting from the important points I raised, and had more empathy for the people that live here and their issues, we could work together to resolve the problems .


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


5 people like this
Posted by OMV Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm

@Jim Neal -
Yes, perhaps you should be clearer with your comments... perhaps by not including wild exaggerations/hyperbole in the first place. I understand humor in online postings, and your point was not written to be humorous.

As a matter of fact, I am not in favor of tearing down existing housing and small business spaces to make room for more housing. I said nothing to that effect in my comments. All I did was point out that you were making a wildly exaggerated claim, and suggested that your comments were "knee-jerk reactionary". I base that on the tone of your comments on the MV Voice message boards over many years. And on comments like the one below (excerpted from your comment of 7/13, 10:15am above):

"It also cannot be expected that any native population is going to be thankful for being displaced and thrown out of homes that they have lived in for a long time (some for decades) or ruining the peace and tranquility we had become accustomed to. We are seeing our neighborhood streets clogged with Shuttles, Google cars, and employees walking back and forth in front of our homes like drones while talking on their cell phones about their jobs."

Complaining about shuttles, I can see (although you don't acknowledge that every shuttle takes 5, 10, 20 or more cars off the road). Complaining about Google cars? Come on - they drive more cautiously and quietly than most human-steered cars I see around Castro Street. And complaining about employees walking on the public sidewalk in front of your house? Now you're just in "angry old man yells at cloud" territory.


16 people like this
Posted by Common sense
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 20, 2016 at 1:00 pm

What is wrong with citing "our neighborhood streets clogged with Shuttles, Google cars, and employees walking back and forth in front of our homes like drones while talking on their cell phones about their jobs" -- ?

These things as they occur today are new phenomena. If you've been around Mtn. View for a while, they stand out as novelties, and some of them certainly have downsides too (which Jim is referring to), regardless of any positive effects elsewhere in society.

The Google autopilot cars are exotic and attract attention, and their "cautious" driving is sometimes better characterized as hesitant, sluggish -- failing to notice some cues that human drivers do, and abnormally impeding traffic behind them (just like the hesitant or inept human drivers who cause rear-end collisions by ignoring part of the driving environment they're part of). And people yakking about their jobs on mobile phones -- well, they DO act like drones, and look weird except to others like them.

Ovservations such as these are lately sometimes met by "the place is changing, so get over it" arrogance that does wonders for the newcomers' public image.


14 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 20, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

@OMV Resident If telling the truth is reactionary, then I guess that fits. There wasn't anything I said in the excerpt you included that is not true. People choose where to live for a reason. Some people want to live close to trains and airports, so they can't complain if there is noise. Some people pick quiet neighborhoods or streets that are safe for small children and have every right to be concerned or upset if unthinking bureaucrats make changes that impact their quality of life.

With regard to the Google cars, how do we know how safe they are? One hit a bus on El Camino not too long ago and my street has families with small children. With all the additional traffic being generated on the small side streets, it makes them (the streets) more dangerous.

The purpose of the shuttles was to relieve traffic in the North Bayshore, but the result was to reroute the traffic into the neighborhoods instead because the shuttles take shortcuts onto the smaller neighborhood streets to avoid the traffic on the main streets instead of sticking to their routes.

Also adding offices to Castro means that once quiet neighborhood streets are now have dozens of people chattering away on cell phones at all times of the day and night. Some of us spend 5 hours a day on public transportation and aren't blessed enough to have such a large property that we can't hear anything going on outside, so it's nice to have at least one place to have a few minutes of peace and quiet.

When WhatsApp was built down the street, we were told that it wasn't going to impact our neighborhood and that it would be quieter than that "noisy auto shop" it replaced. Well, that was a lie. And the more offices that are encouraged to expand or locate on Castro, the worse the problem will get.


Jim Neal
Old Mountain View


5 people like this
Posted by Rules of the road
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 23, 2016 at 9:59 am

@Common Sense

"just like the hesitant or inept human drivers who cause rear-end collisions by ignoring part of the driving environment they're part of"

No wonder driving in Mountain View is so hard -- motorists don't know the rules of the road. In fact, a rear-end collision is normally the fault of the following vehicle, not the leading vehicle. It's the trailing vehicle's responsibility to leave enough room, and pay enough attention, to stop in time.

See, for example: Web Link


11 people like this
Posted by Newsflash
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2016 at 12:25 pm



I have to agree with Jim on this one. Having someone pace back and forth in front of your residence while yakking on the phone (sometimes on speakerphone) for twenty minutes - evidently on work related calls of some sort - is kinda disruptive. Seriously. This dude is not a quiet talker, and he does this with relative frequency. 30 steps turn - 30 steps turn - back & forth and back & forth. Dude, go sit on a park bench or something...I'm trying to have a moment of quiet here, I don't need to hear the details of your phone conversation from inside my residence - with my windows closed.


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