2009City forms Good Neighbor Committee
A place inspired
by San José
We’re working together to imagine this part of downtown — one that draws from San José’s culturally-rich history, vibrant personality and innovative spirit.
Here’s an overview of Downtown West
In 2021, the San José City Council approved the Downtown West mixed-use plan. It builds on the City of San José’s Diridon Station Area Plan to create a mixed-use urban destination near public transit. We worked closely with the City and community to help bring this vision to life through Downtown West.
Building on a decade of engagement
We've drawn on more than ten years of planning efforts from the City of San José and have had thousands of touch points with local community members to create our mixed-use framework plan. As this project moves forward, we’ll continue to engage with the City and community members to build a place that’s reflective of San José.
As told by the people of San José
What I love most about San José…
Diversity • The people • It isn’t pretentious • Small city feel with big city amenities • The potential • It’s a nerd mecca • It’s not San Francisco • The parks • Libraries • We keep it real • We’re the underdogs of Silicon Valley • It’s filled with people like me • The rich cultural history and racial diversity • How family-friendly the city is • The amazing people that cultivate the arts and the culture that exists and THRIVES here • Inclusivity • Great neighborhoods • The culture and people and food • Openness to new people • The art • Community events • Unique • It's growing and changing quickly • Weather and outside activities • One of the most beautiful cities • Variety, mix of culture and influences • Peaceful • Historic neighborhoods • It’s authentic
What excites me most about Google in San José…
Job opportunities in the heart of SJ • The innovation and advances we could make • Using vacant lots to activate SJ’s downtown core • Walkable community with parks, recreation, and retail • SJ is coming up • My mom will get a job close to home • They will invest in the area and my family’s future by committing to the long run • Taking SJ to the next level • New jobs and new opportunities • Hands on learning • Providing opportunities for young people • Real community involvement • Better streetscapes and transit • Connecting greenways • More vibrant and safe Diridon • Opportunities to collaborate and innovate • More jobs more people more housing • Busier trails and parks • More night life • Positive upgrades to infrastructure • Community gathering space • Jobs for San Joséans
What I wish San José had…
More kid-friendly venues for teens • Late night establishments • Better public transportation • Affordable housing for the middle class • A history trail • More small shops and grocery stores • More community involvement • More lively downtown • More block parties • More vibrant hangout spots • Community events and functions • Awareness of how beautiful this city really is, we have so much to offer • Multicultural center • Skyscrapers • More places for kids downtown • More fun things to do • Safer walks to downtown for women • Improved creeks and rivers • More youth employment focused on tech • More jobs for locals • More cool public art • More festivals • Taller buildings more density • More affordable housing • More outdoor music and dance • More playgrounds • Cleaner streets
Delivering on San José’s goals
We heard from San José - and we set the priorities for Downtown West together. The project and its programs are designed to respond to these meaningful and ambitious goals—and to also grow and evolve together with the community. Downtown West includes the following benefits, which we’ll work towards meeting throughout the development of the project.
Local job opportunities
5,700+ prevailing wages construction jobs (with supplier diversity and local hire targets), and new job opportunities in technology and other industries
More housing, and affordable housing
4,000 new homes, and support for 25% affordable housing in the Diridon Station Area
Help strengthen the community
~$150M Community Stabilization & Opportunity Pathways Fund rooted in social equity and community participation
An inclusive place
15 acres of public parks and open space with free year-round programming
Ambitious climate targets
Zero net new carbon emission and 65% non-single-occupancy vehicle trips (walking, biking, carpooling, or public transit)
Enhancing ecological health
~4.25 acres of enhanced riparian habitat, 2,280 new trees planted
A mixed-use plan for a variety of experiences
A range of urban to nature across open spaces
World-class multi-modal transit hub
Local neighborhoods with diverse character and community
Downtown West will be a connected hub of activity and culture with easy access to nature and transit.
*Studying up to 5,900 units
Parks, plazas and green spaces
Retail, cultural, arts, education, hotel and more
Proposed land use
- Land dedicated to City for affordable housing
- Land dedicated to City for Unentitled DSAP potential affordable housing
- Active use (retail, cultural, arts, education etc)
- Parks + plazas + green spaces
- Downtown West Project Boundary
How it all comes together
Take a walk across the site
Downtown West is designed to provide a range of experiences from urban to nature, while fostering a lively and welcoming public realm, including free year-round programming.
On the eastern edge of Downtown West, the Gateway will act as an immersive learning exchange that brings San José’s entrepreneurial, innovative spirit to life. It will bolster connections to adjacent neighborhoods and Downtown by offering a flexible plaza for temporary pop-up programming and events, while also celebrating adjacent natural resources.
The Creekside Walk
Bounded by South Autumn Street to the west, Los Gatos Creek to the east, West Santa Clara Street to the north, and the VTA light rail corridor to the south, the Creekside Walk will be a part of the social heart located at San José’s transit gateway emphasizing health, wellness and environmental education.
Daytime on The Meander
A central social gathering place with shops, local food and places to learn and experience art and culture, the Meander will bridge natural open space areas with more civic, active areas. It’s situated between West San Fernando Street and Park Avenue, serving as a pedestrian-only extension of South Montgomery Street. A flexible lawn accommodates workshops, classes and events, and is framed by adjacent temporary and permanent structures.
Evening in The Meander
The Meander comes alive at night, bringing neighbors out to restaurants, bars, and exhibitions — or just for an evening stroll. A mix of businesses and organizations build on San José’s existing culture of food and art. Public seating, native plantings, outdoor art and cultural performances enhance the actively programmed public realm.
Where are we in the process?
2014City approves Diridon Station Area Plan
AUG 2019Google unveils draft mixed-use framework
OCT 2019Google submits Downtown West development application
OCT 7, 2020Draft documents for public review
OCT 19, 2020Development Application Community Meeting
May 25 & June 8, 2021City Council approves Downtown West development application
TodayLaying the groundwork for Downtown West
How we think about placemaking
Four guiding principles
We know when our local communities thrive, Google thrives. That’s why we made a $1 billion Bay Area housing commitment to enable 20,000 new homes. As we think about designing great places for people, we look to four guiding principles.
Places are about people and connections between them. We want to contribute to vibrant places that promote well-being, inclusion, and interconnectivity.
We aim to have a healthy disregard for the impossible. We design for adaptability and flexibility.
The well-being of people depends on the health of the planet. We aspire to build spaces and places that are resilient and circular, connect people to nature, and help us conserve resources and reduce waste.
We invest in bold ideas that create replicable solutions for a better future. We want our designs to give something back to the world that wasn’t already there.
Explore the latest updates and events
Let's keep the conversation going
FeaturedDec 09, 2022
The Stephen’s Meat Products “Dancing Pig” Sign: On Its Journey to Downtown West
The beloved Stephen’s Meat Products “Dancing Pig” sign has witnessed many changes in San José since its original installation in 1948. We followed the sign’s journey from then to now.
UpdateAug 16, 2022
Summer 2022 Update
It’s been a busy spring and summer for the Downtown West team! We hosted an Open House in the spring and were thrilled at the response and attendance. More than 200 community members joined us in-person — residents, families, students, small business owners, local artists, community leaders and more.
UpdateFeb 17, 2022
Planning underway for Downtown West
Google and our development partner Lendlease are excited to be working with the City of San José and community on a plan to transform Downtown West into a vibrant and welcoming mixed-use, transit-oriented destination rooted in the City’s unique heritage.
UpdateApr 06, 2021
A look at Downtown West’s Social Infrastructure Plan
We’re excited to introduce Downtown West’s Social Infrastructure Plan sharing how we’re creating an inclusive, welcoming place that creates new opportunities and delivers a range of public benefits for San José residents.
Project team through entitlement approval
- Lendlease: Development Advisor
- SITELAB urban studio: Master Planning + Urban Design
- Heatherwick Studio: Workplace Architecture
- Grimshaw Architects: Architecture
- Red Leaf: Design Visualization
- Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF): Architecture
- Fougeron Architecture: Architecture
- Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB): Architecture
- SHoP Architects: Architecture
- Architectural Resources Group (ARG): Historic Resource Consultant
- West8: Landscape Design
- Sherwood Design Engineers: Civil + Infrastructure
- HMH Engineers: Civil
- H.T.Harvey & Associates: Ecology
- San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI): Ecology
- Integral Group: Design Analytics
- David J Powers: Environmental
- Kier + Wright: Surveyors
- Prior + Partners: Urban Design + Station Integration
- ARUP: Rail, Transportation, + Sustainability
- Nelson Nygaard: Transportation
- Schaaf & Wheeler: Hydrology
- Johnson Aviation: Aviation
- Applied Wayfinding: Signage