Applauds State Legislature, Governor for Fast Tracking Similar Projects

artist rendering of plan

May 20, 2021 - Joint Venture president and CEO Russell Hancock issued the following statement today to the San Jose city council in support of Google's "Downtown West" development proposal.

Honorable Mayor and Council Members:

Google's development proposals are impressive in every regard. They would:

  • Provide 4,000 new homes
  • 25 percent of those homes will be classified as "affordable"
  • Those homes will be in proximity to Diridon Station, so that the residents can utilize BART, Caltrain and local buses
  • Develop 15 acres of public parks and open space
  • Add more than 2,000 trees to the landscape

In our view the proposal is sensitive to context and adding value not only to the City but to the region. Indeed, we see this as a pathbreaking project of regional significance.

Moreover, Google is making $150 million available to San Jose in a fund for community purposes, including stabilization measures, mitigations, and opportunity pathways for the City's residents.

The project will generate 5,700 or more construction jobs at the prevailing wage, and is targeting zero net new carbon emissions.

In our view the project is exemplary, and Google has been thorough and conscientious in seeking input from the community. We also view the project as visionary, putting San Jose on the leading edge of urban planning and design. We're anxious to see it come to fruition.

Hancock also praised California State President pro tempore Toni Atkins, the State legislature, and Governor Newsom for enacting Senate Bill 7, which expedites the review process for large-scale, transit-oriented projects like Google's. To receive fast-track approvals the bill specifies that 15 percent of the housing must be affordable.

"Dense, in-fill, transit-oriented housing in priority development areas is the only way to address California's housing crisis," said Hancock. "We applaud the state for at long last changing the dynamic with win-win proposals such as these, and making it possible for our progeny to live here."

The Google project comes before the San Jose city council on May 25. Supporters can address the council by visiting the San Jose website.

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