Google Abandons Massive Project That Would Have Built 15,000 Homes in San Francisco Area

Google Abandons Massive Project That Would Have Built 15,000 Homes in San Francisco Area

On Friday, Google and real estate group Lendlease called off plans to build 15,000 homes in the San Francisco Bay Area, as housing developers continue to exit the troubled region.

Google and Lendlease mutually ended a $US15 billion agreement that was made in 2019 to build residential and retail space in Sunnyvale, San Jose, and Mountain View, where the search engine is headquartered. The plans for San Jose’s ‘Downtown West’ included 4,000 affordable homes, office space for 20,000 employees, 300 hotel rooms, and 10 parks.

“The decision to end these agreements followed a comprehensive review by Google of its real estate investments, and a determination by both organizations that the existing agreements are no longer mutually beneficial given current market conditions,” Lendlease said in a press release on Friday.

Google did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.

San Jose City Council approved Google and Lendlease’s construction plans for Downtown West in 2021. The tech giant worked closely with the city and locals to develop the community-fostering project, according to a post still live on Google’s website.

“​​We want our designs to give something back to the world that wasn’t already there,” Google wrote on the Downtown West website. The project was supposed to bolster a community that has served Google for decades, creating over 5,000 construction jobs and investing in local communities. The townships of Santa Clara County, however, never got to reap those benefits promised by Google.

Construction on Downtown West was paused in April after the demolition phase had already begun, according to CNBC. The project risks becoming a permanent eyesore to the San Jose community, at a time when investments can’t come soon enough.

San Jose’s opioid overdoses have tripled since 2018, according to the San Jose Spotlight, and real estate sales in Santa Clara County have dropped 14% this year, according to NBC. Issues that are, unfortunately, common in California these days continue to batter the Bay Area, and Google pulling investments in the community does not help.

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