SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — The San Jose City Council gave the green light Tuesday evening to Google’s massive new downtown development.
The city council vote to approve the Google Downtown West development was unanimous after nearly four hours of discussion regarding the project.READ MORE: UPDATE: San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Hit-And-Run Victim Identified As Hotel Worker Headed Home
One major development ahead of the vote was that the San Jose Sharks dropped their opposition to the project after the city agreed to address the team’s concerns over parking and congestion near SAP Center.
The city promised that there would always be 2,850 parking spaces for patrons during any phase of the project.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo has argued that the development is a no-brainer.
“We wouldn’t be giving any money to Google, and Google wouldn’t expect money from us. There will be no tax breaks. No subsidies,” said Liccardo, touting the benefits of the development ahead of the council’s vote.
Google is planning to invest more than $1 billion to build a massive new headquarters on the western edge of downtown San Jose near the Diridon Transit Center. The complex, which would be larger than Apple’s Spaceship campus in Cupertino, will include about 4,000 housing units and 300 hotel rooms.
While the project is expected to be an economic windfall for the city, others remain concerned about its larger impact on the area’s housing market.
“Homelessness keeps increasing. It shows the giant wealth and income gaps,” said Pastor Scott Wagers, a homeless advocate.
Wagers said the internet giant is in a position to do more to mitigate any adverse impacts from the development.READ MORE: Suspect Sought In Robbery At El Cerrito Pharmacy
“We need money for the unhoused. We need property for the unhoused. We need new ideas for the unhoused,” Wagers told KPIX 5.
Google has signed a $200 million Community Benefits Agreement in addition to construction of its new headquarters.
As part of the agreement, Google will build 1,000 affordable housing units. The company will also create a $154 million community fund to battle homelessness and displacement.
Not everyone is convinced however.
“So many people who could afford this area to live here have already been pushed out. And I think it’s been more of a detriment to have a big tech hub in this area,” said Lexi Palm.
Others echoed her concern.
“It’s good for the market, it’s good for the economy. But what about the little people?” says Mario Guevara.
Liccardo said the project is an opportunity that is once-in-a-lifetime and will benefit the entire community.
“Tech is part — an instrumental part — of our recovery. And Google is really setting the bar for the rest of the country,” the mayor said.MORE NEWS: Bay Area McDonald's Restaurants Offer Free COVID Shots and Menu Items
Construction should start sometime next year.