Google submits plans to build 7,000 homes in North Bayshore, the largest project in city's history

Google is proposing to build 7,000 new homes in North Bayshore, replacing single-story offices with dense, mixed-use neighborhoods. Rendering courtesy Sitelab Urban Studio/Google.

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Google submits plans to build 7,000 homes in North Bayshore, the largest project in city's history

Google is proposing to build 7,000 new homes in North Bayshore, replacing single-story offices with dense, mixed-use neighborhoods. Rendering courtesy Sitelab Urban Studio/Google.

Google is poised to redevelop 120 acres of Mountain View into dense, urban neighborhoods packed with 7,000 new homes, next door to its headquarters and central offices.

Google officials submitted a preliminary version of its North Bayshore master plan to the city, laying out its vision for reshaping the city's bayside tech park. If approved, it would single-handedly increase the city's total housing stock by close to 20%, double the city's available affordable housing and stand in stark contrast to the low-lying suburbs elsewhere on the Peninsula.

Though it's an early version subject to change, representatives from Google say it's an ambitious opportunity to work with Mountain View on its housing goals.

"Google is committed to helping the community in which we work to recover from the pandemic and solve some of our most pressing problems," said Google real estate director Michael Tymoff. "We really see North Bayshore as an opportunity to do just that."

The scope of the master plan is massive: The proposal calls for razing low-density office buildings and replacing them with 7,000 new housing units -- including a mix of rental and for-sale homes -- of which 1,400 will be affordable housing. New offices would be built to the north along Charleston Road, with a goal of building a net increase of 1.3 million square feet of office space.

Google touts a total of 34 acres of open space in its master plan for North Bayshore, tied together with bike and pedestrian trails. Rendering courtesy Sitelab Urban Studio/Google.

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The development largely follows the zoning blueprint passed by the city in 2017, which allows for density far beyond what is allowed in most of Mountain View. At its tallest, the master plan calls for buildings up to 15 stories tall. Much of the density will be oriented around transit corridors, specifically Shoreline Boulevard and Charleston Road, with an emphasis on public transit.

The city's so-called Precise Plan for North Bayshore was created with Google in mind, since it is the largest property owner in the area. In 2019, the tech giant submitted an application for developing North Bayshore with 5,760 homes, but has since acquired more property and reconfigured the plan to add more than 1,000 additional units.

The fate of the "gateway" project on the southern end of North Bayshore is less certain, complicated by the property's split ownership between Google and SyWest.

Tymoff said the close proximity between homes and offices means Google employees could very well live within walking and biking distance from work, easing the traffic bottlenecks into the area north of Highway 101 that used to cause long commute delays prior to the pandemic.

"The opportunity is to provide people who are currently working in North Bayshore the choice to live closer to work," Tymoff said. "It's one of the most effective ways to reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions."

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The master plan identifies three individual neighborhoods in North Bayshore -- dubbed Joaquin, Shorebird, and Pear -- each with its own unique identity and appearance. Shorebird, east of Shoreline Boulevard and north of Space Park Way, will have the heart of the area's retail space, a grocery store and a proposed new school campus.

City officials have insisted that Google provide local school districts with either funds or land to construct new schools, which will be necessary as Mountain View's population climbs due to the housing growth. Mountain View Whisman School District board member have been less than thrilled with Google's past proposed school locations, however, raising concerns that the sites would be too small and crammed next to high-rise buildings.

The latest offer on the east end of the Shorebird neighborhood is 4 acres in size, larger than past proposals but still much smaller than existing schools in Mountain View.

Offices are clustered to the north of the master plan, with medium and high-density housing to the south. Buildings can be as tall as 15 stories. Rendering courtesy Sitelab Urban Studio/Google.

Google's recently submitted plans include more than a million square feet of additional office space, despite uncertainty about the company's future needs for work space. Partially due to COVID-19 and the temporary shift to remote working, many companies are re-evaluating how much office space they actually need, raising questions last year over whether the Google Landings project will actually get built.

The preliminary master plan is expected to come before the Mountain View City Council for review and public feedback in late March. Below are key components of the plan.

Housing

• 7,000 new residential units

• 20% affordable housing (1,400 units)

• For-sale and rental homes ranging from studios to three-bedroom units

• Designed and developed by partner company LendLease

Offices

• 3 million square feet total of office space

• 1.3 million "net new" offices, allocated through the North Bayshore Precise Plan

• Designed and developed by Google

Open space

• 34-plus acres of total open space

• 18 acres of land dedicated for city parks, recreation and habitat restoration

• 7.6 acres of privately owned, public open space

• 9 acres of other trails and open space

Retail and community

• 265,000 square feet of retail space including a grocery store, shops, dining and services

• 20,000 square feet for an "urban ecology" education center

• Retail center designed and developed by partner company LendLease

• 4-acre site dedicated for a public elementary school

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Google submits plans to build 7,000 homes in North Bayshore, the largest project in city's history

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, Feb 4, 2021, 10:54 am

Google is poised to redevelop 120 acres of Mountain View into dense, urban neighborhoods packed with 7,000 new homes, next door to its headquarters and central offices.

Google officials submitted a preliminary version of its North Bayshore master plan to the city, laying out its vision for reshaping the city's bayside tech park. If approved, it would single-handedly increase the city's total housing stock by close to 20%, double the city's available affordable housing and stand in stark contrast to the low-lying suburbs elsewhere on the Peninsula.

Though it's an early version subject to change, representatives from Google say it's an ambitious opportunity to work with Mountain View on its housing goals.

"Google is committed to helping the community in which we work to recover from the pandemic and solve some of our most pressing problems," said Google real estate director Michael Tymoff. "We really see North Bayshore as an opportunity to do just that."

The scope of the master plan is massive: The proposal calls for razing low-density office buildings and replacing them with 7,000 new housing units -- including a mix of rental and for-sale homes -- of which 1,400 will be affordable housing. New offices would be built to the north along Charleston Road, with a goal of building a net increase of 1.3 million square feet of office space.

The development largely follows the zoning blueprint passed by the city in 2017, which allows for density far beyond what is allowed in most of Mountain View. At its tallest, the master plan calls for buildings up to 15 stories tall. Much of the density will be oriented around transit corridors, specifically Shoreline Boulevard and Charleston Road, with an emphasis on public transit.

The city's so-called Precise Plan for North Bayshore was created with Google in mind, since it is the largest property owner in the area. In 2019, the tech giant submitted an application for developing North Bayshore with 5,760 homes, but has since acquired more property and reconfigured the plan to add more than 1,000 additional units.

The fate of the "gateway" project on the southern end of North Bayshore is less certain, complicated by the property's split ownership between Google and SyWest.

Tymoff said the close proximity between homes and offices means Google employees could very well live within walking and biking distance from work, easing the traffic bottlenecks into the area north of Highway 101 that used to cause long commute delays prior to the pandemic.

"The opportunity is to provide people who are currently working in North Bayshore the choice to live closer to work," Tymoff said. "It's one of the most effective ways to reduce traffic and greenhouse gas emissions."

The master plan identifies three individual neighborhoods in North Bayshore -- dubbed Joaquin, Shorebird, and Pear -- each with its own unique identity and appearance. Shorebird, east of Shoreline Boulevard and north of Space Park Way, will have the heart of the area's retail space, a grocery store and a proposed new school campus.

City officials have insisted that Google provide local school districts with either funds or land to construct new schools, which will be necessary as Mountain View's population climbs due to the housing growth. Mountain View Whisman School District board member have been less than thrilled with Google's past proposed school locations, however, raising concerns that the sites would be too small and crammed next to high-rise buildings.

The latest offer on the east end of the Shorebird neighborhood is 4 acres in size, larger than past proposals but still much smaller than existing schools in Mountain View.

Google's recently submitted plans include more than a million square feet of additional office space, despite uncertainty about the company's future needs for work space. Partially due to COVID-19 and the temporary shift to remote working, many companies are re-evaluating how much office space they actually need, raising questions last year over whether the Google Landings project will actually get built.

The preliminary master plan is expected to come before the Mountain View City Council for review and public feedback in late March. Below are key components of the plan.

Housing

• 7,000 new residential units

• 20% affordable housing (1,400 units)

• For-sale and rental homes ranging from studios to three-bedroom units

• Designed and developed by partner company LendLease

Offices

• 3 million square feet total of office space

• 1.3 million "net new" offices, allocated through the North Bayshore Precise Plan

• Designed and developed by Google

Open space

• 34-plus acres of total open space

• 18 acres of land dedicated for city parks, recreation and habitat restoration

• 7.6 acres of privately owned, public open space

• 9 acres of other trails and open space

Retail and community

• 265,000 square feet of retail space including a grocery store, shops, dining and services

• 20,000 square feet for an "urban ecology" education center

• Retail center designed and developed by partner company LendLease

• 4-acre site dedicated for a public elementary school

Comments

Dan Waylonis
Registered user
Jackson Park
on Feb 4, 2021 at 2:18 pm
Dan Waylonis, Jackson Park
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2021 at 2:18 pm

Looks like a thoughtful plan that those involved have considered to be successful. It will be a shame when the MV planning and City Council start slashing and modifying so that it becomes an unworkable mess. We have all see that before. Many times.


Ellen Wheeler
Registered user
Blossom Valley
on Feb 4, 2021 at 2:30 pm
Ellen Wheeler, Blossom Valley
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2021 at 2:30 pm

Thanks for including in your story considerations for the school(s) that will be needed over there to accommodate the new children in these developments. Too often we read about the developments without thinking through the full ramifications, like that new families will need new schools.


JustAWorkingStiff
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2021 at 4:31 pm
JustAWorkingStiff, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2021 at 4:31 pm

Does any believe that they will disband the Rental Housing Committee (and the supporting bureaucracy) when rental vacancy rate exceeds 5%? (the 5% might be achieved when
increased supply reaches the market. I understand the rental vacancy rate in MV is more than 5% but they do not want to disband because of the pandemic)

At least that is how this was pitched.

"Nothing-is-so-permanent-as-a-temporary-government-program" - Milton Friedman (1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences)


chewie
Registered user
Shoreline West
on Feb 4, 2021 at 8:05 pm
chewie, Shoreline West
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2021 at 8:05 pm

This is a large plan. Were considerations made for soft structure construction and seismic considerations? The architecture looks raised above the ground like residence over the garage structures in SF. Are any of these high density structures built on landfill? Is it safe? The leaning Millenium tower was not built on bedrock and problems were found later. It was an obvious problem that greedy developers obviously ignored. Is it safe for living conditions near toxic plumes? It was a suitable location for a pharmaceutical company because there was a low level toxic nature of working in the lab. Is the land suitable now for living conditions? I agree that the area needs to be revitalized because some of the structures look like they were built in the 1970's when resources were low. The resulting construction was cheap and low quality.


Bernie Brightman
Registered user
North Whisman
on Feb 5, 2021 at 11:29 am
Bernie Brightman, North Whisman
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2021 at 11:29 am

Are the years of bribes, oops, I mean donations, finally going to pay off in approval of this gargantuan plan? Really? We need 15-story buildings out there in the earthquake zone? Someone should look up the word hubris.


BDBD
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Feb 5, 2021 at 2:24 pm
BDBD, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2021 at 2:24 pm

This looks thoughtfully designed. I'm glad it includes some ownership housing and so many trails and public-access areas.


sonnyt650
Registered user
Castro City
on Feb 7, 2021 at 8:35 am
sonnyt650, Castro City
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2021 at 8:35 am

I'll list off several things that came to me in the last couple of minutes for which the city will need a plan:
* water
* sewer
* garbage
* power

Mountain View isn't a small town for which the resources I mentioned can be slowly grown over time, instead we've already got known requirements for serving the existing residents. True we can probably absorb the step increase resource demands of such a large development better than a small town, but it needs to be acknowledged that this development will have consequences. If you were here during the power deregulation brownouts or the severe droughts you are aware that these resources aren't boundless, and the more that's used the higher the costs for everyone. There is a sizable group of fixed-income residents of Mountain View who shouldn't be asked to foot a portion of the bill for this development, even when that cost is hidden among the already high costs of the area.


Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Feb 8, 2021 at 8:36 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Feb 8, 2021 at 8:36 am

The School Board needs to not hold secret "real estate negotiations" on this project area (anymore). The limitations on this aspect (Public Policy of where and how much property) are required to be discussed by a school board in the clear, with public input and participation! The wording of the law (Ralph M. Brown Act) - only secret 'negotiations' over "the price and terms of payment" of a property that has been clearly designated by address or assessor's parcel number or such. Not 'the entire North Bayshore area', and not any other terms they wish to keep secret.


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