News

Google unveils massive mixed-use housing and office village in East Whisman

Google announced on Tuesday a proposal to build more than a million square feet of offices and up to 1,850 new homes in the East Whisman area of Mountain View, creating an entire neighborhood in the center of a sprawling office park.

Dubbed the Middlefield Park Master Plan, the local tech giant is seeking to transform 40 acres centered near the Middlefield VTA light rail station into a mixed-use hub that ups the density on office development while making room for thousands of future residents. East Whisman was rezoned late last year to allow for housing and higher buildings, clearing the way for Google's complete redesign of the area.

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Renderings show buildings with offices, residential and retail space surrounding a newly created public park in Mountain View's East Whisman neighborhood. Courtesy Google.

Google is proposing to build roughly 1.3 million square feet of offices across five new buildings on the northern side of the village, located along Ellis Street, Logue Avenue and Clyde Avenue. To the south will be six residential buildings totaling anywhere from 1,675 to 1,850 new homes, likely a combination of ownership and rental units. Unlike the mostly single-story offices that dominate the site today, building heights are now permitted to exceed 95 feet.

More than half of Google's 40-acre property is dominated by surface street parking, which will be replaced by two parking garages. The extra space means that more than 12 acres of the master plan can be devoted to parks and open space, largely consolidated in a centrally located public park and along the light rail tracks.

Though the project would result in as much as 650,000 square feet of net new office space, the primary objective is to construct at least 1,675 new homes for the area, said Google real estate director Michael Tymoff. The transit-oriented development will be led by the housing component, he said, marking the company's first chance to deliver residential development at scale in the city.

"We really see it as taking another step forward with our housing commitment," Tymoff said.

Offices, in blue, will neighbor several new residential buildings, in yellow, located on Maude Avenue and Ellis Street. Courtesy Google.

Last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company would be responding to the Bay Area housing crisis by investing $1 billion to help build a minimum of 20,000 new homes. The large majority of that commitment, $750 million, would come in the form of Google converting its commercial land holdings into residential uses, which is part of the rationale behind the Middlefield Park design.

Though Google's recently approved projects are all office-only tech parks -- including Charleston East, Bay View and Landings -- the company has pivoted in recent years toward large, mixed-use development that aims to put offices next door to thousands of homes. Along with East Whisman, Google is proposing to build a mixed-use village with up to 5,900 homes in its San Jose Downtown West plan. And Mountain View's North Bayshore tech park, currently the home of most of Google's office growth, could soon have 5,700 new homes.

The proposal's mix of rental and for-sale housing units are predominantly in the form of stacked flats that can maximize the number of residential units in the area, Tymoff said. The project would include 20% affordable housing units, which, depending on how many units are built, would create between 335 and 370 deed-restricted units for low-income households.

Google will be taking a hands-off approach to the housing at Middlefield Park, however, leaving the design and construction to another company, Lendlease. In a statement, Lendlease Project Director Andrew Chappell said the housing will be focused on creating "people-centered" communities that benefit both residents and the community at large.

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"We are eager to move forward in collaboration with Google, delivering much needed housing in the Bay Area," Chappell said. "We are confident that we can turn the Middlefield Park master plan into a reality."

Google's proposal is in the early stages of the development, and many details have yet to be fleshed out. Tymoff said the individual buildings have yet to be designed, but will predominantly be low- to mid-rise buildings up to 12 stories tall. One factor keeping building heights down is Moffett Field, with the Federal Aviation Administration capping the project's height limits at 120 feet, he said.

Google is proposing 40 acres of new offices and homes in East Whisman, completely transforming the existing office park. Courtesy Google.

In November, the city adopted the blueprint for future development in East Whisman through the East Whisman Precise Plan, a guiding document that opened the door for higher density and housing in an area considered ripe for redevelopment. The plan allowed for more office development, but only on the condition that it also came with a commensurate increase in housing.

The jobs-housing balance requires developers to preserve a ratio of 3 housing units for every 1,000 square feet of office space that gets built in East Whisman, leaving it up to developers to negotiate deals with one another or dedicate land for future homes.

In Google's case, no such deal-making will be needed. Tymoff said the proposal's ratio of jobs and housing within the Middlefield Park Master Plan precisely matches what the city requires.

"The amount of net new office would go up or down proportionately so that we're always in compliance," he said.

The project also won't have to pitch in any park fees for shortchanging the city on park space, which is often the case in newly proposed housing projects. The 12 acres of primarily public open space satisfies the city's park requirements.

Outside of housing and offices, Google's proposal calls for 30,000 square feet of retail space as well as 20,000 square feet of flexible space for "civic" uses and events. Tymoff said those could be for recreational fields, an aquatic center or space for events like birthday parties and community meetings. The hope is to create a neighborhood that, on its own, is mostly self sufficient.

"It's certainly one of the ideas in the Precise Plan to create a mixed-use neighborhood where a lot of the needs and services are within walking distance from where you live and work," Tymoff said.

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Google unveils massive mixed-use housing and office village in East Whisman

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Tue, Sep 1, 2020, 9:02 am

Google announced on Tuesday a proposal to build more than a million square feet of offices and up to 1,850 new homes in the East Whisman area of Mountain View, creating an entire neighborhood in the center of a sprawling office park.

Dubbed the Middlefield Park Master Plan, the local tech giant is seeking to transform 40 acres centered near the Middlefield VTA light rail station into a mixed-use hub that ups the density on office development while making room for thousands of future residents. East Whisman was rezoned late last year to allow for housing and higher buildings, clearing the way for Google's complete redesign of the area.

Google is proposing to build roughly 1.3 million square feet of offices across five new buildings on the northern side of the village, located along Ellis Street, Logue Avenue and Clyde Avenue. To the south will be six residential buildings totaling anywhere from 1,675 to 1,850 new homes, likely a combination of ownership and rental units. Unlike the mostly single-story offices that dominate the site today, building heights are now permitted to exceed 95 feet.

More than half of Google's 40-acre property is dominated by surface street parking, which will be replaced by two parking garages. The extra space means that more than 12 acres of the master plan can be devoted to parks and open space, largely consolidated in a centrally located public park and along the light rail tracks.

Though the project would result in as much as 650,000 square feet of net new office space, the primary objective is to construct at least 1,675 new homes for the area, said Google real estate director Michael Tymoff. The transit-oriented development will be led by the housing component, he said, marking the company's first chance to deliver residential development at scale in the city.

"We really see it as taking another step forward with our housing commitment," Tymoff said.

Last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that the company would be responding to the Bay Area housing crisis by investing $1 billion to help build a minimum of 20,000 new homes. The large majority of that commitment, $750 million, would come in the form of Google converting its commercial land holdings into residential uses, which is part of the rationale behind the Middlefield Park design.

Though Google's recently approved projects are all office-only tech parks -- including Charleston East, Bay View and Landings -- the company has pivoted in recent years toward large, mixed-use development that aims to put offices next door to thousands of homes. Along with East Whisman, Google is proposing to build a mixed-use village with up to 5,900 homes in its San Jose Downtown West plan. And Mountain View's North Bayshore tech park, currently the home of most of Google's office growth, could soon have 5,700 new homes.

The proposal's mix of rental and for-sale housing units are predominantly in the form of stacked flats that can maximize the number of residential units in the area, Tymoff said. The project would include 20% affordable housing units, which, depending on how many units are built, would create between 335 and 370 deed-restricted units for low-income households.

Google will be taking a hands-off approach to the housing at Middlefield Park, however, leaving the design and construction to another company, Lendlease. In a statement, Lendlease Project Director Andrew Chappell said the housing will be focused on creating "people-centered" communities that benefit both residents and the community at large.

"We are eager to move forward in collaboration with Google, delivering much needed housing in the Bay Area," Chappell said. "We are confident that we can turn the Middlefield Park master plan into a reality."

Google's proposal is in the early stages of the development, and many details have yet to be fleshed out. Tymoff said the individual buildings have yet to be designed, but will predominantly be low- to mid-rise buildings up to 12 stories tall. One factor keeping building heights down is Moffett Field, with the Federal Aviation Administration capping the project's height limits at 120 feet, he said.

In November, the city adopted the blueprint for future development in East Whisman through the East Whisman Precise Plan, a guiding document that opened the door for higher density and housing in an area considered ripe for redevelopment. The plan allowed for more office development, but only on the condition that it also came with a commensurate increase in housing.

The jobs-housing balance requires developers to preserve a ratio of 3 housing units for every 1,000 square feet of office space that gets built in East Whisman, leaving it up to developers to negotiate deals with one another or dedicate land for future homes.

In Google's case, no such deal-making will be needed. Tymoff said the proposal's ratio of jobs and housing within the Middlefield Park Master Plan precisely matches what the city requires.

"The amount of net new office would go up or down proportionately so that we're always in compliance," he said.

The project also won't have to pitch in any park fees for shortchanging the city on park space, which is often the case in newly proposed housing projects. The 12 acres of primarily public open space satisfies the city's park requirements.

Outside of housing and offices, Google's proposal calls for 30,000 square feet of retail space as well as 20,000 square feet of flexible space for "civic" uses and events. Tymoff said those could be for recreational fields, an aquatic center or space for events like birthday parties and community meetings. The hope is to create a neighborhood that, on its own, is mostly self sufficient.

"It's certainly one of the ideas in the Precise Plan to create a mixed-use neighborhood where a lot of the needs and services are within walking distance from where you live and work," Tymoff said.

Comments

Corporate Take-Over
Registered user
Whisman Station
on Sep 1, 2020 at 9:32 am
Corporate Take-Over, Whisman Station
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 9:32 am
25 people like this

Looks like Google's story is that housing units will at some point be added to house the number of additional employees and contractors this office space would accommodate. Better than nothing. But note Google is not proposing housing for its existing employees and contractors EXCEPT BY QUIETLY PUSHING STATE LEGISLATION to increase housing density everywhere it likes - such as in established single-family neighborhoods.


Frank Richards
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Sep 1, 2020 at 11:18 am
Frank Richards, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 11:18 am
28 people like this

Corporate Takeover, there's that Trump rhetoric again about "protecting single-family neighborhoods." It's interesting to watch these arguments line up.

Let's be clear about the issue facing us, we need more homes for more people, and eliminating regressive bans against apartments is a great way to move in the right direction. More neighbors will lead to a more inclusive, vibrant community!


Corporate Takeover
Registered user
Whisman Station
on Sep 1, 2020 at 2:47 pm
Corporate Takeover, Whisman Station
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 2:47 pm
16 people like this

Trump is all for corporations. Google is for Google - not for someone's fantasy island with huts for the homeless. Google wants more housing for its employees and contractors - and for its public relations agents named Frank or Pete or Paul or Mary.


Groot
Registered user
Willowgate
on Sep 1, 2020 at 9:36 pm
Groot, Willowgate
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 9:36 pm
19 people like this

Google is very much on board with Biden/Cory plan to insert inner city Democrats into single family neighborhoods.

"Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule" (AFFH) will blackmail suburban towns into adopting Federal zoning rules. Democrats are not hiding the ball on AFFH — it's on Biden site.

You will not recognize your neighborhood in four years if this goes ahead. Google is just getting a bit over their skis, not waiting for the results of the elections.

Web Link


Frank Richards
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Sep 1, 2020 at 9:44 pm
Frank Richards, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 9:44 pm
20 people like this

God bless you, Groot, for clarifying what I mean by Trump rhetoric. Mountain View residents, are you aligned with the people scared of "inner city Democrats"? Are you afraid of "not recognizing your neighborhood"? I wonder what Groot means when they're making these statements; is this a person you share goals with?


Corporate Take-Over
Registered user
Whisman Station
on Sep 1, 2020 at 11:22 pm
Corporate Take-Over, Whisman Station
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 11:22 pm
13 people like this

Google would support the leader of Russia over the leader of China - or vice-versa - depending on its prospects. Google has no conscience. It isn't human. Public relations agents who work for Google may have a conscience - but it does not prevail over the corporate assignment. Frankly.


Reader
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Sep 1, 2020 at 11:55 pm
Reader, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Sep 1, 2020 at 11:55 pm
22 people like this

I think it looks fabulous. Parking lots are a ridiculous waste of land in this area. Take out the parking lots, put up a few attractive parking structures (there is such a thing), build housing, offices, mixed use, and put a green park in the middle. Excellent idea!

Could we please leave talk of Trump, Biden, China, Russia, and "inner city Democrats" (really? lol) out of the conversation and stick to the matter at hand, which is the need for housing in our area?


Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Sep 2, 2020 at 9:30 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Sep 2, 2020 at 9:30 am
10 people like this

Google "renderings show" kids! And Kids need schools (I hope that U-all know that's true - especially for K-5 with 'socialization' also learned [SEL]). So what is in the plan, from Google to support the building? The current pennies per SQFT development tax (just for schools) is inadequate. (By one or two orders of magnitude?)

Or, reporter Kevin, has the "East Whisman Precise Plan" legally locked-down the requirement for a developer's 'appropriately sized' fiscal contribution?


MV neighbor
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 2, 2020 at 3:59 pm
MV neighbor, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 2, 2020 at 3:59 pm
12 people like this

Although I am often taken aback by the developer/high tech YIMBY drive to stick high rise, high density dorms without parks or parking or schools or other amenities in every neighborhood (except Cuesta Park annex!), this one actually looks pretty good...looks more like a planned community with parks, retail, etc. Need to hear more about schools and access by car, but better than many other projects being floated....


Y
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 3, 2020 at 9:21 am
Y, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 3, 2020 at 9:21 am
7 people like this

As someone who used to work in that neighborhood, it will be great to replace all of the dull as dirt 1980s one story dull industrial office buildings with something more interesting.
Also, seeing as a vast number of people work in and around that area, it will be great to have some housing there. I would have loved to be able to walk to the office rather than having to drive.
How do we cut down on congestion? Enable people to live near where they work!


Cfrink
Registered user
Willowgate
on Sep 3, 2020 at 7:06 pm
Cfrink, Willowgate
Registered user
on Sep 3, 2020 at 7:06 pm
10 people like this

This is going to need a school. It should be planned from the beginning. I know that they are aware that this development will need a school but we need to make sure they build it for the district since I don’t think we have the money for this in our current budget. I’m all for the development though. Looks nice. But let’s get ahead of the school and it’s needs now while we’re in the early stages of planning and development.


Ellen Wheeler
Registered user
Blossom Valley
on Sep 3, 2020 at 11:16 pm
Ellen Wheeler, Blossom Valley
Registered user
on Sep 3, 2020 at 11:16 pm
4 people like this

Absolutely, CFrink!


Jack Cormode
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Sep 4, 2020 at 8:01 pm
Jack Cormode, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Sep 4, 2020 at 8:01 pm
4 people like this

It would be nice if there was a map showing the layout of the development and how big it is.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 4, 2020 at 8:57 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 4, 2020 at 8:57 pm
2 people like this

I am concerned that this is just another false promise.

So many Google projects recently have not even started.

Google doesn't need offices if it is out resourcing the majority of work due to AB5 out of state.

And that the housing market has gone back to the time of 2014 when it comes to prices

I still remember the 6000 unit project, where is that going?


Justin Case
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2020 at 8:49 am
Justin Case, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 5, 2020 at 8:49 am
5 people like this

> "Google is for Google - not for someone's fantasy island with huts for the homeless."

^ A fantasy island with huts for the homeless (i.e. indigent mentally ill and/or meth abusers) would not be fantasy island...this would create a problem zone for public safety & law enforcement. Such a concept would only be viable IF the aforementioned types of homeless individuals were not allowed to reside there.

> "You will not recognize your neighborhood in four years if this goes ahead."

^ Some Mountain View 'old timers' can't even recognize San Antonio Road between ECR & Central Expressway anymore...it's hard enough just to see what's left of the sky.

> "Google has no conscience. It isn't human."

^ That is why Google is so successful...a corporate 'cult mentality' (i.e. the former Hewlett-Packard, Apple & now Google) are prime examples of an employee base who eat, sleep & drink the corporate culture.

> "Google would support the leader of Russia over the leader of China - or vice-versa - depending on its prospects."

^ This primarily depends on cost-effective manufacturing & production options...you can count Russia out on this one & Google is turning to Viet Nam and Thailand as its primary off-shore manufacturing sites...as are other American companies citing pervasive PRC improprieties.

> "I am concerned that this is just another false promise."

^ As in projected release dates for their new Androids? Sometimes it is well worth the wait as man does not live, talk, game & capture pics/videos by Apple and/or Samsung devices alone.


Steven Nelson
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Sep 5, 2020 at 9:17 am
Steven Nelson, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Sep 5, 2020 at 9:17 am
Like this comment

@Ellen Wheeler: is that the sitting School Board Member? Shouldn't there be some 'disclaimer', "this is my own opinion and not the official opinion of the MVWSD"? Or does Censure not apply to long-time Bd. members?

[The California Constitution absolutely enables elected and sitting local legislators the FREE SPEECH rights to post whatever opinions that they want, irrespective of any 'loyalty oaths' to their legislative body or to the majority opinions or actions of their legislative body. Councils, boards, etc., etc., etc. This constitutional civil right is also explicitly called out in Gov Code of the state of California]

Ellen, welcome to Your Rights {nah - you do not need to "disclaim"}


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 5, 2020 at 10:50 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 5, 2020 at 10:50 am
Like this comment

Steven Nelson,

I just want to point out one thing, they have the right to free speech. BUT, they cannot use their title in any way when advocating any political positions. There are clear cases where those like John Inks, Mike Kasperzak, Margeret Abe Koga, and Lisa Matichak used their TITLES to promote a ballot measure or policies.

If they wish, they may do so, but not advertise their political position as a part of their free speech. They must divorce their actions from their political positions. In effect using their political position as a selling point is not protected as free speech.

Also, if they wish to vote on any related actions, if they have done the above, wouldn't that be evidence of a bias in their decisions? Conflicts of interest are grounds for requiring recuse I think?


Justin Case
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 5, 2020 at 11:38 am
Justin Case, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 5, 2020 at 11:38 am
2 people like this

> "...they have the right to free speech. BUT, they cannot use their title in any way when advocating any political positions...They must divorce their actions from their political positions. In effect using their political position as a selling point is not protected as free speech."

^ Are you sure of this mandate? At the RNC, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo advocated POTUS45 for the 2020 Presidential election.

If this practice is acceptable (as well as unchecked) on a national level, then city officials from 'small town' environments and/or larger municipalities barking their opinions & viewpoints are small potatoes bordering on the trivial.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 5, 2020 at 12:42 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 5, 2020 at 12:42 pm
Like this comment

Justin,

As you already know, if one other party is guilty of the same thing, in this case the Hatch Act, it does not render another guilty party innocent.

Granted the Nixon Political Reforms have been chipped at ever since they were enacted.

I cannot believe we are living with a Richard Nixon on steroids, namely Donald Trump and his administration.

Two wrongs don't make them right, and we have to crush this kind of political corruption for good.


Justin Case
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2020 at 9:00 am
Justin Case, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 6, 2020 at 9:00 am
3 people like this

> "Two wrongs don't make them right..."

^ Concurring...but the 'Do as I say, not as I do' entitlement mentality is prevalent in United States politics based on influence & power.

Not condoning the practice in any way...but on a smaller & perhaps less political scale, it's kind of like Nancy Pelosi sanctimoniously barking out her public health opinions while blatantly disregarding them herself for the sake of vanity.

ALL political parties and public servants need to be held accountable for their self-serving interests.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 6, 2020 at 10:48 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 6, 2020 at 10:48 am
Like this comment

Justin Case,

When we have footage less than 3 minutes long showing one step of a hair styling appointment, you cannot claim she was without the mask during what typically takes at least 30 minutes to do.

I want to see the ENTIRE appointment before I pass judgement. BUT. If she wasn't wearing the mask at all possible points, I want her grilled to a super well done. If not burned to ash.


But your possibly drawing the wrong conclusion. What would you do if the complete footage indicated this scene was the only time she went without a mask? Would you be willing to concede you are drawing the wrong conclusion?

Or are you just against her herself and trying to exploit the situation.

Again, if the entire appointment video was viewable and I see what you claimed, lets "lock her up".


Justin Case
Registered user
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2020 at 11:43 am
Justin Case, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 6, 2020 at 11:43 am
3 people like this

> "But your possibly drawing the wrong conclusion. What would you do if the complete footage indicated this scene was the only time she went without a mask? Would you be willing to concede you are drawing the wrong conclusion?"

^ At the time of her appointment, hair salons were either closed or required to operate OUTDOORS.

So either way, she messed-up or was 'set-up' depending on whatever openly biased news affiliation (aka CNN or FOX) one wishes to adhere to.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 6, 2020 at 2:25 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 6, 2020 at 2:25 pm
Like this comment

Justin,

I agree that somehow either Nancy Pelosi or her staff did not check for if it was allowed to have her hair done on that day. She is going to have to take responsibility for it.

However, it can be said that if someone gives you service on a day that you aren't approved to do so, isn't that contributory negligence. The fact was this business probably was doing service against the orders in place. If you are going to hold people accountable, ALL people are equally guilty.

The irony is that the owner is now saying she is closing the San Francisco location. Maybe because she knew it was operating against orders, and the video accidentally disclosed this problem. If it was designed to make Nancy Pelosi look bad, it equally made the Salon look worse.

The owner claims that the workers there were Independent Contractors leasing the chairs in the salon. Isn't this a violation of AB5 because they work on site? This is another reason why the salon owner in fact made a big mistake in thinking that disclosure of the video was NOT going to bite back on her business too. AB5 is forcing her out of business in San Francisco and it is really hurting her financially.

Nancy Pelosi should be fined for violating the mask order, and participating in business where the operation was against orders. She is not innocent. That is the fair enforcement of the laws. And yes her opponents are going to use this against her politically. This is the process.


Peter Gavin
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Sep 14, 2020 at 11:56 am
Peter Gavin, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Sep 14, 2020 at 11:56 am
Like this comment

I am a Construction Designer and Project Manager and these type of projects usually never come into reality or meet expectations. The opportunities here cannot be duplicated on normal developments which have limited objectives and funding.
I really, really hope that Google and Lend Lease can make it work and show the world how social and commercial developments can be successful and build a better future work life balance model for us all.


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