Mountain View Voice

News - March 25, 2011

Council gives up on Shoreline hotel

Google to lease all of Charleston area from city in $30 million deal

By Nick Veronin

The city has abandoned its plan to build a hotel on a plot of land near the Shoreline Amphitheater, approving a 53-year, $30 million lease of the land to Google instead.

In approving amendments to the North Bayshore Precise Plan on March 8, and then approving the lease on March 22, the City Council will now lease the entire 45.2-acre Charleston Area — which is bounded by Permanente Creek, Shoreline Boulevard, Charleston Road and Amphitheater Parkway — to Google for research and development space as well as offices to accommodate the growing company.

Google headquarters is currently located on the 26.6-acre Charleston West sub-area of the Charleston Area — south of the amphitheater and west of Charleston East, which is currently vacant.

Peter Gilli, zoning administrator for Mountain View, said that letting go of the plan to build a hotel on the Charleston East sub-area was the "more fiscally responsible option."

Gilli said that putting in a hotel would have cost the city a lot up front and would have taken a long time to pay off. Ultimately, he said, it would not have been as beneficial to the city as the office deal will be.

The lease itself will generate money on top of taxes paid to the city by Google. According to outgoing City Manager Kevin Duggan, about 10 percent of the city's general fund comes from leases.

It is also likely that as more people come to work for Google in the Shoreline area, more money will be spent at local shops and restaurants, Gilli said.

"Both parties are happy that a deal was able to be made," Gilli said.

The city is still considering building a new hotel, he said, just not on the Charleston site.

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