SAN JOSE — Google has leased four office buildings in a vast north San Jose tech campus where it could employ 3,000 or more, and has bought a trio of old office buildings in north Mountain View for a quarter-billion dollars, marking eye-popping new expansions of the search giant’s Silicon Valley operations.
The tech titan has undertaken the deals for the seven Silicon Valley properties with legendary South Bay developers John Arrillaga and Richard Peery.
Google paid $250.2 million for the north Mountain View buildings, according to public documents filed on Tuesday with Santa Clara County.
For a considerable time, the tech company has eyed the outright ownership of the north Mountain View buildings, which are all part of Google’s fast-expanding footprint near its GooglePlex headquarters in that city, according to eight real estate sources that are familiar with the digital behemoth’s property plans.
But the Peery Arrillaga real estate firm, the sources all said, initially resisted selling the aging buildings in Mountain View to Google — until the tech company agreed to lease at least a portion of a 2-million-square-foot campus the developers have begun to construct in north San Jose near the corner of North First Street and Brokaw Road just east of the city’s airport.
The four north San Jose buildings that Google has leased, which together total 729,000 square feet, could accommodate 3,600 to 4,900 company employees. Google spokeswoman Katherine Williams confirmed the lease of the four buildings.
In Mountain View, Google paid $138.6 million for a 92,000-square-foot building at 900 Alta Ave. in one transaction, county documents show. In a separate Mountain View purchase, Google paid $111.6 million for a 61,000-square-foot building at 1053 Joaquin Road and a 14,000-square-foot building at 1489 Charleston Road, according to the property records.
The north San Jose property includes the now-bulldozed former site of the Bay 101 Casino, which has shifted to a bustling new location for the gambling hub a short distance away in north San Jose.
Were Google to eventually occupy all 2.03 million square feet of the office buildings that have been approved for the north San Jose site, the company could employ 10,000 workers on the 31-acre property. Development was underway on Tuesday on the site, which for several weeks has been a hive of construction activity. The construction work includes grading the site and digging trenches.
Google could begin occupying the four buildings in 2021, according to Williams.
One north San Jose building totaling nearly 117,000 square feet has been completed but has yet to be occupied. Permits for construction of three more office buildings that together would total almost 612,000 square feet have been issued to Peery Arrillaga, said Ruth Cueto, a San Jose city planner.
According to the commercial real estate industry sources, Google is also evaluating the four Peery Arrillaga buildings that it has leased in north San Jose for an outright purchase at some point. The buildings are next to a busy light rail line on North First Street.
In recent years, Google has intensified its interest and expansion plans in San Jose and set the stage for a dramatic expansion of its footprint in the Bay Area’s largest city.
Perhaps the most wide-ranging development effort by Google is a proposed transit-oriented village of office buildings, homes, shops, restaurants and open spaces on the western edges of downtown San Jose near the Diridon train station. An estimated 25,000 people could work in the transit village, including 15,000 to 20,000 of the search giant’s employees.
Since December 2016, when Google bought an old Pacific Bell building on South Montgomery Street in downtown San Jose, the tech titan has spent well over $300 million collecting an array of office buildings, commercial and industrial sites, vacant parcels and parking lots that would provide the land for the transit village.
Yet Google also hungers for elbow room in north San Jose.
Two major deals by the company in 2018 have paved the way for what could be the start of a major new tech campus for Google in north San Jose, separate from the Peery Arrillaga site.
In January 2018, Google bought three big industrial buildings for $117.3 million north of State Route 237 near the city’s Alviso district.
About a mile away, in October 2018, Google bought two big curving office buildings on North First Street for $154.4 million. These two buildings total 377,000 square feet and could accommodate 1,900 to 2,500 Google employees.
Google could bring San Jose as many as 20,000 to 27,000 new workers, when combining the employment potential of the downtown development, the four buildings on the Peery Arrillaga campus near the airport, and the buildings Google bought in the sections of north San Jose near Alviso.