LinkedIn campus plans win praise

Shops, movie theater and restaurants incorporated into North Bayshore project

LinkedIn's transformative plans for a new North Bayshore campus received a round of accolades from Mountain View officials during a preliminary review last week. In a Sept. 16 study session, the city's Environmental Planning Commission signaled early support for the project, with members praising it as a vast improvement over the standard office park.

In partnership with the development firm Sywest, LinkenIn has proposed a new 10-building campus that would mix corporate offices with a promenade of new shops and restaurants. The project, along Shoreline Boulevard immediately east of Highway 101, would replace almost an entire block of established businesses, including Laser Quest, the Sports Page bar and, in time, the Cinemark movie theaters.

As proposed, LinkedIn's plans would increase density on the land in the extremely competitive North Bayshore area. The company plans showed a diligent effort to make its new campus harmonize with the neighborhood, said planning commissioner Margaret Capriles. She pointed out that many businesses being forced out by the new project were invited to come back as future tenants.

"There was enough detail here for us to see that this is going in the right direction," Capriles said. "They're trying very hard to make this an inviting place."

The LinkedIn project might be described as the largest of a series of colossal new tech campuses coming to North Bayshore. Earlier this year, the professional-networking company managed to cobble together a partnership between five landowners for a larger development. The company's proposal ultimately won the lion's share of a limited pool of office space the city is allocating for the area, besting a pack of competitors that included Google.

The company's proposal calls for seven office buildings that would reportedly house about 7,500 employees. Each office building would include shops and restaurants on the ground floor. The development would include a new athletic club, a 200-room hotel and at least three levels of parking. The buildings would include a large amount of open space as well as rooftop gardens.

The new development would eventually replace the 16-screen Cinemark theaters. In an email, LinkedIn officials explained their plan was to wait as long as possible before shutting down the theater, but they could not specify an exact date. As soon as possible, a new movie cinema with luxury accommodations would open as part of the campus, they noted.

Commissioners last week urged the company's representatives to find ways to make the building more visually appealing, such as adding artwork to the side of buildings facing the highway.

Given its off-highway location, the LinkedIn development would have big ramifications for the North Bayshore traffic flow. Traffic congestion in the area is considered among the worst in Mountain View, coming mostly from commuting workers. City officials require any new development in the area to carefully address its impact on traffic.

As part of its project, the LinkedIn is pledging a fleet of initiatives to lessen the number of cars on the road. The project would help build new bike lanes along Shoreline Boulevard as well as "reversable" lanes for buses to quickly move in the direction of commuter traffic. The company would also help build a new bike and pedestrian bridge over Highway 101. LinkedIn is pledging that fewer than half its employees at the new campus would drive themselves to work.

Assistant City Development Director Terry Blount said the LinkedIn project is still barely out of the starting gate. The campus plans would be slowly refined over several future city meetings, including a City Council study session scheduled for Oct. 20. Overall, he expressed enthusiasm for the project as part of a larger transformation of North Bayshore into a vibrant community.

"We feel fortunate to have such great plans in place," he said. "This'll be a place that's much more sustainable, much more bike- and pedestrian-friendly and much more of a community than the suburban office park that we're starting with."

The first phase for the new campus will include a new theater, gym and one million square feet of office space. Company officials indicated they hope to complete the first phase by 2019.

Email Mark Noack at


11 people like this
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 27, 2015 at 4:33 pm

USA is a registered user.

It is too bad about the theater and a huge loss for the Sports Page.

Traffic is already bad now, especially on days that there are concerts. Bike lanes will only put a small dent in the increased traffic from the 7,500 additional cars every morning and evening.

5 people like this
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 27, 2015 at 4:34 pm

USA is a registered user.

Mark -- can you post a map with the layout?

7 people like this
Posted by MovieGoer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 27, 2015 at 6:56 pm

Cinemark just upgraded those movie theaters -- and now L**kedIn is going to come in and l**k it all up?

That's bigtime horrible and very disappointing. More traffic, fewer movies -- worst case scenario!

Where are our representatives and why aren't they considering the interests of our community's movie lovers?

15 people like this
Posted by Friend of small business
a resident of North Bayshore
on Sep 28, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Lies, lies, lies.
Small business is being run over by the juggernaut that is LinkedIn .
None of the long term small businesses have been given any options.
No discussion
No compromise
Just get out of our way.

12 people like this
Posted by impacts of gentrification
a resident of Bailey Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 5:31 pm

MOUNTAIN VIEW already has been run over by the juggernaut that is google, the rest of this is just fluff. It's funny (not ha-ha funny, but ironic funny) how some seem to consider what's happening in Mountain view to be "progress" but if you ask the RESIDENTS of Mountain View, at least those who have lived here more than a few years, I'd be willing to wager the vast majority of them would have other choice words for what's happening presently in Mountain View, and I don't think those words would be positive.

Snipped from a relevant article about gentrification and it's effects:

"In certain respects, a neighborhood that is gentrified can become a "victim of its own success." The upward spiral of desirability and increasing rents and property values often erodes the very qualities that began attracting new people in the first place. When success comes to a neighborhood, it does not always come to its established residents, and the displacement of that community is gentrification's most troubling effect.

No one is more vulnerable to the effects of gentrification than renters. When prices go up, tenants are pushed out, whether through natural turnover, rent hikes, or evictions. When buildings are sold, buyers often evict the existing tenants to move in themselves, combine several units, or bring in new tenants at a higher rate. When residents own their homes, they are less vulnerable, and may opt to "cash them in" and move elsewhere. Their options may be limited if there is a regional housing shortage, however, and cash does not always compensate for less tangible losses.

The economic effects of gentrification vary widely, but the arrival of new investment, new spending power, and a new tax base usually result in significant increased economic activity. Rehabilitation, housing development, new shops and restaurants, and new, higher-wage jobs are often part of the picture. Previous residents may benefit from some of this development, particularly in the form of service sector and construction jobs, but much of it may be out of reach to all but the well-educated newcomers. Some local economic activity may also be forced out — either by rising rents or shifting sensibilities. Industrial activities that employ local workers may be viewed as a nuisance or environmental hazard by new arrivals. Local shops may lose their leases under pressure from posh boutiques and restaurants.

Physical changes also accompany gentrification. Older buildings are rehabilitated and new construction occurs. Public improvements — to streets, parks, and infrastructure — may accompany government revitalization efforts or occur as new residents organize to demand public services. New arrivals often push hard to improve the district aesthetically, and may codify new standards through design guidelines, historic preservation legislation, and the use of blight and nuisance laws.

The social, economic, and physical impacts of gentrification often result in serious political conflict, exacerbated by differences in race, class, and culture. Earlier residents may feel embattled, ignored, and excluded from their own communities. New arrivals are often mystified by accusations that their efforts to improve local conditions are perceived as hostile or even racist.

Change — in fortunes, in populations, in the physical fabric of communities — is an abiding feature of urban life. But change nearly always involves winners and losers, and low-income people are rarely the winners. The effects of gentrification vary widely with the particular local circumstances. Residents, community development corporations, and city governments across the country are struggling to manage these inevitable changes to create a win-win situation for everyone involved.


Web Link

6 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 28, 2015 at 7:17 pm

You're not reading the article and just posting inflammatory rhetoric to ignite passions and create fear and doubt. The theater will be torn down and replaced with -- a luxury theater. As for north Bayshore, it's currently a commercial desert, so constructing large buildings with shops and stores on the bottom floors will be a significant boost to the area. Overall, the infusion of money and land improvements are a huge win for our city, so get over it.

12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2015 at 7:42 pm

"As part of its project, the LinkedIn is pledging a fleet of initiatives to lessen the number of cars on the road. The project would help build new bike lanes along Shoreline Boulevard as well as "reversable" lanes for buses to quickly move in the direction of commuter traffic. The company would also help build a new bike and pedestrian bridge over Highway 101. "

Right, more bikes and buses and a bike/ped bridge are going to relieve the traffic mess. What a joke.

12 people like this
Posted by Jim Neal
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 28, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Jim Neal is a registered user.

I met with Linked-In to discuss this project a few months ago and expressed my concern that there are no current plans to include The Sports Page. I provided them with two alternate designs that would either allow The Sports Page to Remain where it is, or to be the crown jewel at the top of the new hotel they are considering. I hope that they will take the concerns of the community seriously and try to incorporate this beloved landmark into their plans.

Also, I imagine that this new gym will not be as affordable as the Gold's Gym that is already located there.

Also why are bike lanes on Shoreline necessary when a bike/pedestrian bridge is going to be built over HWY 101? This is overkill. As it is, most bikes ride on the sidewalks instead of the street. Adding a bike lane to Shoreline in North Bayshore will take needed parking away from The Sports Page and put them in the same position that The Milk Pail was in last year. I sincerely hope that more attention will be given to the needs of small businesses and the residents of the city and less to trying to stuff in more office space that will only exacerbate rent increases.

Jim Neal
Old Mountain View

3 people like this
Posted by AC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 4, 2015 at 7:44 pm

Let's hope they do a better plan than the Sunnyvale mess they helped make on Mathilda (then sold out to Apple). That was too large of a building for that spot. Traffic will be worse whenever the SV Mall is fully completed. Then they put a bile lane in and narrowed the roads more

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

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