Your most common questions, answered
What is Downtown West?
In alignment with the City and community’s vision for the Diridon Station Area, Downtown West is a 80 acre mixed use district that includes up to 4,000 housing units, 7.3 million square feet of office space, 15 acres of parks, plazas and green space, and up to 500,000 square feet of retail, cultural, arts, education, and other active uses.
What are some of the Downtown West public benefits?
Google, in collaboration with the City of San José and residents, developed a public benefits package. Highlights include:
- Creating a first-of-its-kind ~$150 million Community Stabilization and Opportunity Pathways Fund that is 100% focused on social equity and involves community participation in the grantmaking process.
- Supporting 25% affordable housing in the Diridon Station Area - a level not achieved before in a private project in San José - through a combination of on-site land dedication, inclusionary housing (distributed among market-rate buildings), and inclusionary housing in lieu fees.
- Investing in new walking and bike paths, construction of 15 acres of parks, plazas, and green spaces, year-round free programming, preservation of historic resources, ecological restoration, infrastructure investments, innovative district systems and more.
You can learn more about the project's public benefits in our Downtown West Social Infrastructure Plan.
When will we see public benefits?
In 2021, we delivered an initial portion of the community benefits to the City. This included the early transfer of land parcels, which provided the City an opportunity to begin development of affordable housing. In addition, we made an early $7.5 million community benefits payment to the City. Of this early payment, the City allocated $3 million to Community Stabilization (anti-displacement) programs due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the housing security for many residents. The funds prioritized programs focusing on increasing housing security and support services for disadvantaged communities throughout the City. This included tenant education, tenant outreach, eviction protection services, and land trust predevelopment and feasibility.
The City allocated the additional $4.5 million early payment balance to Aspire San José to provide a variety of services. This included scholarships to youth and adults for education and job training, childcare subsidies for training program participants, a college and pathways coordinator for the Downtown West project, Gardner neighborhood programs, and for the initial set up of the Community Stabilization and Opportunity Pathways Fund.
Additional community benefit funds will be paid to the City as the project progresses. Learn more.
When will Google start construction?
We remain focused on the site preparation and infrastructure improvements needed to support the development of the Downtown West project.
How long will it take to build Downtown West?
Downtown West will take more than 10 years to complete and will be delivered over several construction phases. Our first phase of development includes office and residential units as well as retail, and public green spaces. Much of the work will take place between San Fernando Street and Park Street, and will include the adaptive re-use of some existing structures along Barack Obama Boulevard.
How much affordable housing is in the Downtown West plan?
We’re excited to help the City reach its goal of 25% affordable housing in the broader Diridon Station Area by providing dedicated land, paying commercial linkage and inclusionary housing in-lieu fees, and building affordable units amongst the market-rate housing.
How can I stay informed about the project, including construction activities?
We’ll keep the community informed with regular updates via e-newsletters, website posts and community meetings. In addition, we’ve created a website that will provide updates on construction progress at www.downtownwest.info.
How is sustainability and ecology being integrated into the Downtown West project?
Sustainability and ecology are a primary focus of Downtown West. This includes:
- Supporting Google’s goal to operate on carbon-free energy 24/7 by 2030, including zero net new greenhouse gas emissions during construction and 30 years of operation.
- Increasing water efficiency and reducing the use of potable water.
- Enhancing the natural riparian corridor along sections of the Los Gatos Creek.
- Providing attractive convenient ways to get around that help reduce carbon.
These investments support the City’s climate action plan, which aligns with the Paris Agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Additional information regarding the environmental and sustainability goals can be found in the Downtown West Social Infrastructure Plan.
How does Downtown West approach historic preservation?
Downtown West is designed to foster and enhance connections between historic San José and a dynamic new part of downtown. That’s why we’re focused on balancing the preservation of historic places with the development of new open space and housing, office and retail space. We are at various stages of planning and design, renovation, salvage, demolition and relocation planning for the historic resources and existing buildings.