Year One

New Google HQ

from the NYT:

This week, Google, the search giant, is expected to propose new headquarters — a series of canopylike buildings from Heatherwick Studio, a London design firm known for works like the fiery caldron at the 2012 Olympics, and Bjarke Ingels, a Danish architect known for his innovative designs.

Sweet, that sounds like a great idea! They already have a billion something buildings.

Google owns or leases about 7.3 million square feet of office space in Mountain View — roughly equivalent to three Empire State Buildings. That includes most of the property around its headquarters on the north side of the city near Highway 101, which cuts the length of the valley, according to Transwestern, a commercial real estate brokerage.

That’s a lot.

That success has brought Mountain View loads of tax dollars and a 3.3 percent unemployment rate, as well as skyrocketing home prices and intolerable gridlock. Good and bad, tech is responsible for most of it: Google is Mountain View’s biggest taxpayer, and technology companies account for 27 percent of the jobs in the Silicon Valley region, compared with 7 percent in California and about 5 percent nationally, according to Moody’s Analytics.

And that’s a lot, too…

One argument was that it would be dangerous to burrowing owls that live underground in adjacent Shoreline Park. Another was that if people moved there, they would soon want more schools and other expensive services. Others feared that new housing could create a Google voting bloc.

Wait… what? Owls? Voters? Do people have so much free time in Mountain View that they fret about voting? Nobody frets about voting!

“This last election we had maybe 12,000 voters,” said Jac Siegel, a city councilman who left office this year and is not related to Leonard Siegel. “If you brought 5,000 people in and they all work for Google and they said, ‘We want you to vote for this candidate,’ they can own the town.”

I like ending with a good chuckle and math fails. 17000/5000 < 51%. In case you weren’t following along. Then there’s the corporate political heavy-handing…

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