Study: Potential Google Village projected to bring 25,000 jobs to Downtown San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Downtown San Jose's potential, massive multi-million dollar Google village could bring much more than enhanced mobility to the area.

A new city-commissioned study shows the prospective Silicon Valley spectacle is expected to bring more than 25,000 new jobs to the heart of the Bay Area's largest city.

"It's more people, more jobs, more housing, more hotels, more restaurants, more of everything," Scott Knies told ABC7 News. Knies is the executive director of San Jose Downtown Association.

More, connected to the "largest, inter-modal transit station," according to Knies.

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"When high-speed rail and BART, and everything is running there," he explained.

He said one of the real challenges the potential village would solve, is moving people from the west side of Downtown San Jose, into the city's central core.

Knies anticipates more economic and enjoyable benefits could be possible if taller buildings were to be constructed in the area eyed for development. The potential village would be built near the SAP Center and San Jose Diridon Station.

"If you have to push buildings down and out, it takes up more space at the ground level," Knies explained. "That means there's not as much room for parks, plazas, all the fun things people want."

Commuters who rely on Diridon told ABC7 News, they just want to be able to afford Downtown San Jose.

Beyond the projected 25,400 new jobs, the report estimates taller buildings could potentially provide more than 9,000 homes.

"When we heard about it, we assumed all the rents were going to go up," Cheryl Riddick-Valme said. "Then, that means everyone that's here may have to eventually leave."

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In mid-November, ABC7 News was there as community groups in San Jose put up a fight over the proposed Google village and the selling of public land.

Two groups filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming the non-disclosure agreements previously signed by several city officials are unlawful.

Currently, the only matter up for decision is whether the City of San Jose will sell Google a number of government and city-owned properties that are considered essential for its village.

City Council will vote on Dec. 4.

In October, ABC7 News took viewers inside Kearney Pattern Works and Foundry in downtown San Jose. The century-old company decided to wrap up operations and close its doors to make way for Google's future transit village.

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"We probably have another two years of planning the details of what is actually going to be built. This is just for the land," Knies said about Tuesday's vote.

The Dec. 4 land sale vote is just an early step in a multi-year process. Much remains to be decided.

A release by the City's Office of Economic Development read, "While no specific project plan has been proposed, approval of these agreements will mark a key milestone in the approval process towards potential development of the Diridon Station Area project by Google."
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