Google moves forward on Downtown West in San Jose

Demolition crews raze bread depot to make way for 80-acre transit village

Google's Sundar Pichai with 145 South Montgomery Street
Google's Sundar Pichai with 145 South Montgomery Street (Google Maps, Getty)

A Google demolition crew has eaten into a Downtown San Jose bakery to make way for a new village of homes, offices, apartments, shops and restaurants.

Construction workers have wrecked most of the Sunlite Bakery Bread Depot at 145 South Montgomery Street to move forward on ithe Downtown West transit village, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

The search giant’s demolition will preserve the Art Moderne-style entrance of the Depression-era bakery building and relocate it somewhere in Downtown West. The development may be the largest in San Jose.

“It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the stock market or the pandemic or inflation,” Erik Hayden, founder of San Jose developer Urban Catalyst, told the Mercury News. “Google is sticking to the plan and the schedule they have established.”

In the project’s first stage, Google intends to remove four buildings at 140, 145 and 102 South Montgomery and 327 Otterson streets.

Besides the bakery, the former Patty’s Inn bar and an old Airgas store will be bulldozed. A building next to the Airgas outlet also awaits the wrecking ball.

Since 2016, Google has spent nearly $532 million buying up scores of properties it requires for the Downtown West neighborhood, according to the Mercury News.

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In May, it completed an early community-benefits payment of $7.5 million to the city. The company will pay the rest of the public benefits totaling $200 million as the 80-acre Downtown West development proceeds.

Plans call for between 4,000 and 5,900 homes, 7.3 million square feet of offices, 500,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, a community center near the railroad station and 15 acres of parks.

Community fund grants would aim to preserve existing affordable housing, boost services for homeless residents and bolster protections for low-income renters.

Google has offered to give the city four plots of land to build 800 affordable housing units and will pay an estimated $87 million in commercial linkage fees – a per-square-foot fee on office and industrial buildings – to fund affordable housing.

Google would also pay $1 billion toward public infrastructure.

Before the pandemic, Google planned to have 25,000 employees work out of that new campus, about 15 miles east of the company’s Mountain View headquarters. That could change, given some of the tech firm’s workers would be remote.

— Dana Bartholomew

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