CNBC reports that following the first demolition phase, Google has halted construction on its “Downtown West” campus, which was slated to turn 80 acres of downtown San Jose, California into 7.3 million square feet of offices, 4,000 housing units, 50,000 square feet of retail and cultural space, and 15 acres of parks. The city believed the project could reach a value of $19 billion and offer 20,000 jobs after more than a decade of work.
Google isn’t denying the report, with spokesperson Bailey Tomson providing this statement to The Verge:
As we’ve stated, we’re working to ensure our real estate investments match the future needs of our hybrid workforce, our business and our communities. While we’re assessing how to best move forward with Downtown West, we’re still committed to San José for the long term and believe in the importance of the development.
While that statement could mean anything from “we’ve had a minor pause” to “we’re not interested in doing it anymore,” Tomson also pointed us to this San Jose Mercury News story which suggests that Google is merely changing the timeline, and where quoted business leaders and development directors seem hopeful that it’s merely a pause.
CNBC seems a little less hopeful, pointing out that Google is currently trying to reduce its office space rather than growing it, to the point it’ll incur costs of half a billion dollars this quarter. The company cut 12,000 jobs in January. Google’s chief contractor also appears to be out of work for an indefinite period: it has laid off over 60 employees, with sources informing the publication they haven’t been told when construction might continue.
“While sources are optimistic that a campus will be built at some point and said Google representatives have expressed a commitment to it, they’re concerned the project may not reach the scale promised in the original master plan,” CNBC writes.
We’re currently waiting for confirmation and comment from the City of San Jose.