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.
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.
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
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.
Create jobs near transit
The Diridon Station Area Plan envisions a job center next to an intermodal transit station. We’re proposing about 7.3 million square feet for office to support this goal and add to the economic vitality already underway in downtown San José.
Build housing alongside jobs
The Diridon Station Area Plan allows for 2,588 new housing units over 240 acres. We made room for 4,000 units in our approximately 80-acre plan area. We also committed to optimizing affordable housing through the project and public benefits.
Create opportunity pathways
We’re creating opportunities for locals to work, grow and learn within the plan. Starting now, we’re investing in workforce development programs and designing an ecosystem model for retail, the arts and small businesses.
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.
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.
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.
A mixed-use plan for a variety of experiences
A range of experiences at the creek
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
Our proposed land use
- Augmented Trail
- Proposed Trail Connections
- Existing Trails
- Downtown West Boundary
- Newly Proposed Office
- Retail, Cultural, Arts, Education + Active Uses
How it all comes together
Take a walk across the site
We will foster four 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.
A place for creativity
The north draws from the energy of creative community that exists in San José today while strengthening key connections. Experiences range from entertainment and local gathering at the terminus of the St. John corridor to a neighborhood focused on making and arts culture. Characteristics of industry, fabrication and making will coexist and complement with the ever-present rail lines, adjacent residential area and regional event center.
An active core
The mixed-use core will become the civic heart at San José’s gateway. The connection from the Diridon Station to downtown offers varied experiences: retail-lined public open spaces in a mix of new and old buildings, a robust creek ecology and cultural and educational amenities that complete the link to downtown. The Cahill, Montgomery and Autumn will define unique experiences by serving as a transit hub, main and urban-to-nature transition streets, respectively.
A public greenway and open spaces
The south will be set in an immersive landscape fronting the Los Gatos Creek, with connections to the regional trail network. A public greenway and outdoor gardens will become local spaces for families and friends to gather, taking full advantage of the rich nature and ideal climate that San José offers. There will also be neighborhood-serving retail and amenities that will expand existing communities.
Where are we in the process?
AUG 2019Google unveils draft mixed-use framework
OCT 7, 2020Draft documents for public review
SPRING 2021City Council considers Google's application approval
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.
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 17, 2020
Visualizing Downtown West together
Community reinforces desire for interactive learning, inclusive spaces for people of all backgrounds and highlighting what makes San José truly unique.
UpdateDec 17, 2020
End of year note from the Downtown West Team
Members of Google's Downtown West team send a virtual hello and Happy New Year. Review some of our highlights from the year, what we heard from the community, and what's ahead in 2021.
UpdateOct 07, 2020
Share your thoughts on a few illustrations of Downtown West
At Downtown West, we imagine a place that puts people first as we work on the plan’s social infrastructure objectives. Take a look at our draft illustrations of a few areas, and let us know what you think.
UpdateOct 07, 2020
Downtown West updates application with design standards and guidelines
Google submits its development application, highlighting the Downtown West Standards and Guidelines, and the City of San José publishes the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report.
We want to hear from you!
- Lendlease: Development Advisor
- SITELAB urban studio: Master Planning + Urban Design
- Heatherwick Studio: Workplace Architecture
- Grimshaw Architects: Architecture
- Red Leaf: Design Visualization
- Kohn Pederson 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