SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Google is expanding its footprint in San Jose yet again, setting the stage for another mega campus along the N. First Street corridor and ending the year on an unprecedented shopping spree of South Bay properties.
“I can confirm that, yesterday, our purchase closed for three of the Cisco buildings,” wrote Michael Appel, Manager of Global Communications and Public Affairs at Google. “175, 255 and 285 W. Tasman Drive.”
Google has also reportedly reached an agreement to purchase a fourth building on the old Cisco campus, 225 W. Tasman, which is still currently occupied by Cisco.
The Tasman Drive buildings are showing signs of urban decay. Walkways have begun to accumulate trash and debris, weeds are growing in rain gutters, an abandoned car sits in the parking lot and RV dwellers have set up on the street directly in front of the buildings.
But Larry Stone, Santa Clara County Tax Assessor, says Google plans to demolish the buildings on the 25 acre property and construct a new campus that could house thousands of employees.
“It’s huge,” said Stone. “Today, Silicon Valley is being absorbed by companies like Google and Apple and others, with real earnings and real profits. So it suggests a lot about the stability of the office market here.”
Google is expanding southward from its headquarters in Mountain View via N. First Street. In May, the company purchased a mega campus in Alviso at Nortech Parkway totaling roughly 1.27 million square feet.
Google is actively negotiating a lease for nearly another 1 million square feet at The Assembly at First on N. First Street at Headquarters Drive, according to the San Jose Mercury News. And at N. First and Brokaw Road, Google has leased four buildings totaling more than 729,000 square feet.
Cisco, still Santa Clara County’s largest private sector employer with nearly 10,000 employees, this summer announced it would layoff 5% of its workforce in the Bay Area.
That amounted to 397 employees from its corporate headquarters in San Jose and 91 in Milpitas. Cisco laid off nearly 500 workers in 2018, 700 local workers in 2017 and 940 in 2016.
As Cisco continues to downsize, Google now owns or leases more than 20 million square feet of office space in Santa Clara County alone, according to Stone, a figure that does not include the recent Tasman Drive transaction.
Stone said we are witnessing the cyclical nature of Silicon Valley where companies are born, rise and fade away.
“It’s a generational swing, what’s hot in Silicon Valley changes and it has been in the 40 years I’ve lived here in the Valley,” said Stone.
San Jose Councilmember Lan Diep, who represents north San Jose, welcomes the addition of jobs to the region, citing the mass migration everyday of workers who live in San Jose but commute to other cities.
“When they do that, they take their tax dollars, they take their lunch money, they take their dry cleaning money and they don’t invest it in San Jose. As the tenth largest city in America, I should hope we have enough jobs in San Jose to attract people from the suburbs coming into our city during the daytime and then leaving at night. That is my ultimate goal and our hope for the city,” said Diep.
Some homeowners living directly across the street from the Google mega campus in Alviso view their new neighbors with skepticism and are concerned about rising home prices and commute traffic cutting through once quiet streets.
“You can hear it right now,” said Antolin Alday, longtime resident of Alviso. “We have Levi’s stadium just a few blocks from here. So now, we’re gonna have more traffic and more individuals here. So it’s just going to be more of everything.”