Google now feels guilty.
After the Mountain View-based company and its peers in Silicon Valley helped to create a shortage of affordable housing, Google is pledging to spend $1 billion on creating more housing in the Bay Area.
In a blog post, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said $750 million of that will be repurposing Google’s own land, currently marked as commercial or office space, as residential housing and the rest is an investment fund “so that we can provide incentives to enable developers to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units across the market.”
Google and its parent company, Alphabet, own a lot of space in Silicon Valley. In 2004, the company built a corporate headquarters in Mountain View that is now up to 3.1 million square feet.
Google’s large footprint
But as The Real Deal has reported previously, Alphabet owns a lot of property—and not just in the Bay Area.
As of March 2018, Alphabet’s global real-estate assets had an estimated value of $14.5 billion, according to Real Capital Analytics — roughly 30 percent of which is concentrated in its two New York City buildings, its $1.77 billion deal for 111 Eighth Avenue from 2010 and the $2.4 billion buy of 75 Ninth Avenue from last year.
Google has 74,000 employees worldwide as well as more than 70 offices and 15 data centers in 50 countries, according to the company.
Earlier this year, Microsoft pledged $500 million to build affordable homes and homeless services in the Seattle area.