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.

Wall mural with a patchwork of colorful pictures
Neon sign that says, “Stephen’s Meat Products” People walking down a busy urban street

Location

Downtown West

In 2014, the City of San José adopted the Diridon Station Area Plan to create a mixed-use urban destination near public transit. Google is working with the City and community to help bring this vision to life.

People gathered around a poster board listening to a woman explaining the information on it. A woman places a sticker with feedback about the plan on a poster board.

Approach

Building on a decade of engagement

We've drawn on 10 years of the City of San José's planning and spoken to thousands of locals to create our mixed-use framework plan. Google is here for the long haul, and we’ll continue to engage with the City and community members to build a place that’s 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 concerns me most about Google in San José…

    Retaining our local culture  •  Not hiring San Joséans  •  The cost of housing  •   Displacement of low income residents  •  It isn’t here fast enough  •  How it will affect me financially  •  Don’t make the areas too stark, cold, museum-like  •  Traffic  •  Becoming a big city like SF, losing that sense of community  •  Enhance the education and wellness of our youth  •  Losing mom + pop shops  •  The people who live here feel welcomed everywhere  •  That it won’t actually happen  •  Loud voices in small numbers can be divisive  •  Keeping an authentic non-corporate character  •  Increase in congestion on highways and boulevards  •  Losing the city’s charm  •  Ensuring the project integrates surrounding neighborhoods  •  All the construction  •  Not having infrastructure to support it, losing our history to trying to be a tech center

  • 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 

Objectives

Initial objectives for the project

In response to City priorities and community input, we developed some initial objectives to help realize the project site’s potential and address local concerns, such as creating housing and new jobs.

  1. Create jobs near transit

    The Diridon Station Area Plan envisions a job center next to an intermodal transit station. We’re proposing about 6.5 million square feet for office to support this goal and add to the economic vitality already underway in downtown San José.

  2. Build housing alongside jobs

    The Diridon Station Area Plan allows for 2,588 new housing units over 240 acres. We made room for 3,000-5,000 units in our approximately 84-acre plan area. We also committed to optimizing affordable housing through the project and public benefits.

  3. Create opportunity pathways

    We’re creating opportunities for locals to work, grow and learn within the plan. Starting now, we’re developing a job training center to open in 2020 and creating an ecosystem model for local retail, the arts and minority-owned businesses.

  4. Connect people to nature and transit

    We’re allocating approximately 15 acres of parks, plazas and green spaces across the plan to better connect pedestrians, cyclists, commuters and nearby neighborhoods.

  5. Make a place that is of San José

    We created a 50/50 balance of office sites and other land uses so that people step out of Diridon Station into the center of a city, not a suburban office park.

  6. Better together

    A place inspired by San José can only be created with the people of San José. So we’re engaging with the public to program approximately 500,000 square feet for retail, cultural, arts, educational, hotel and other active uses.

Plan

A mixed-use plan for a variety of experiences

  • Trees line a creek as the sun shines in the sky. Text reads, “Varied experiences at the creek”.

    A range of experiences at the creek

  • A train pulls out of a station. Text reads, “World-class multi-modal transit hub”.

    World-class multi-modal transit hub

  • High-rise buildings, trees, and a sun. Text reads, “Local neighborhoods with diverse character and community”.

    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.

  • ~6.5M sf

    Office
    *Studying up to 7.3M sf

  • ~3K - 5K

    Housing units
    *Studying up to 5,900 units

  • ~15 acres

    Parks, plazas and green spaces

  • ~500K sf

    Retail, cultural, arts, education, hotel and more

Our proposed land use

Map of proposed land use for the Downtown West Plan shows different zones.

Legend

  • Augmented Trail icon Augmented Trail
  • Proposed Trail Connections icon Proposed Trail Connections
  • Existing Trails icon Existing Trails
  • DSAP Boundary icon DSAP Boundary
  • Newly Proposed Office icon Newly Proposed Office
  • Housing icon Housing
  • Hotel icon Hotel
  • legend icon Retail, Cultural, Arts, Education + Active Uses

How it all comes together

Take a walk across the site

We will foster three distinct characters of place: industrial, arts and maker-oriented areas in the north; lively learning and social spaces close to transit in the core; and a neighborhood that connects people to nature in the south.

Where are we in the process?

2009

  • 2009

    City forms Good Neighbor Committee
  • 2014

    City approves Diridon Station Area Plan
  • AUG 2019

    Google unveils draft mixed-use framework
  • OCT 2019

    Google submits Downtown West development application
  • SPRING 2020

    Draft Environmental Impact Report
  • ONGOING 2020

    Cont’ outreach; Development Agreement negotiations
  • FALL 2020

    City Council reviews Google’s application documents

2020

How we think about placemaking

Four guiding principles

We know when our local communities thrive, Google thrives. That’s why we committed $1 billion towards creating 20,000 new homes in the Bay Area. As we think about designing great places for people, we look to four guiding principles.

Google wants to be a helpful neighbor Principles of place

Community

Places are about people and connections between them.  We want to contribute to vibrant places that promote well-being, inclusion, and interconnectivity.

Innovation

We aim to have a healthy disregard for the impossible. We design for adaptability and flexibility.

Nature

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.

Economics

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

We want to hear from you!

We want to hear from you!

What I love most about San José…

We want to hear from you!

What excites me most about Google in San José...

We want to hear from you!

What concerns me most about Google in San José...

We want to hear from you!

What I wish San José had...

Feel free to share more!

Thanks for sharing! If you want your responses deleted, please email sanjoseplan@google.com.

Project team background image

Project Team

  • Lendlease: Development Management
  • SITELAB urban studio: Master Planning + Urban Design
  • Heatherwick Studio: Workplace Architecture
  • Prior + Partners: Urban Design + Rail
  • West8: Landscape Design
  • Sherwood: Civil + Infrastructure
  • Nelson Nygaard: Transportation
  • ARUP: Transportation + District Systems
  • H.T.Harvey & Associates: Ecology
  • San Francisco Estuary Institute (SFEI): Ecology
  • Schaaf & Wheeler: Hydrology
  • Kier + Wright: Surveyors
  • Environmental Science Associates: EIR preparers
  • Fehr & Peers: EIR Transportation Consultants
  • ARG: EIR Historic Architectural Resources Consultants

Download our Downtown West one pagers