City reconsiders Google land purchase | September 6, 2019 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - September 6, 2019

City reconsiders Google land purchase

$28M deal goes back to drawing board

by Mark Noack

Mountain View leaders are considering renegotiating a $28 million deal to purchase a North Bayshore office property from Google that is needed for traffic improvements. The reworked deal is one in a series of real estate proposals that the City Council considered in closed session at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

Under the original deal, the city would have acquired 1.75 acres of land that would be used to reroute Plymouth Way, curving the street slightly to the north so that it created a new four-way intersection across Shoreline Boulevard to Space Park Way. When finished, city traffic engineers believed the new intersection would greatly speed up traffic along the congested Shoreline corridor.

At the time, opponents derided the land purchase as the city essentially paying Google to fix the company's own traffic problems. Building that newly aligned roadway would require demolishing multiple offices that Google was loathe to give up, and city officials say they had to offer the company $28 million as the fair market price for the property.

Since then, all parties have reportedly agreed to rework the deal. The new proposal calls for Mountain View to purchase a smaller right-of-way. Google would keep ownership of most of the land, which would reportedly help the company prepare its master plan for developing the area. City officials say the revised plan would significantly reduce the purchase costs.

Mountain View city attorney Krishan Chopra said there was no reportable action from the closed-session meeting.

In a separate closed-session item, city leaders considered the opposite action, selling a public right-of-way to a developer in the Shoreline West neighborhood. In that deal, Mountain View would sell a small cul-de-sac called Gamel Way to the Los Altos-based developer, the De Nardi Group. The developer plans to demolish 102 apartments along Gamel Way in order to build for-sale condominiums. If the city agreed to sell Gamel Way, the De Nardi Group would be able to combine it with the surrounding parcels to build a larger 118-unit housing project.

In a third agenda item regarding land, the City Council reviewed an offer from a downtown property owner to subdivide and sell a parcel to create a new pocket park. Under the proposal, the owners of 711 Calderon Ave. said they would split their property in half and move a historic house to one side of the site. When done, the site at the corner of Church Street and Calderon would have a vacant 18,000-square-foot space suitable for a small park.

At this time, city officials were being asked for general interest in the proposal, said Dennis Dremman, city real estate administrator.

Email Mark Noack at mnoack@mv-voice.com

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