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Google At Diridon: The Opportunity For Our Downtown

Google at Diridon: The Opportunity for Our Downtown

Photo courtesy of Sergio Ruiz: Diridon Station, San Jose

I’m a proud resident of San Jose and I’m excited for the opportunity for a vibrant Downtown with the arrival of Google at the Diridon Station Area.

Rather than leaving our region, Google has proposed growing locally, bringing 15,000 to 20,000 new jobs to Downtown San Jose over the next decade. This opportunity would connect those who live or work there to public transit, including Caltrain, Amtrak, light rail, and—by 2026—BART. The Diridon Station Area would be a destination for all, including homes, shops, restaurants, offices and open spaces – all open to the public.

There are numerous reasons that the vast majority of San Jose residents support the opportunity of Google in our Downtown:

Job Creation: It will be an important source of jobs for San Jose, supporting more than 1,000 full-time, family supporting construction jobs and between 15,000 and 20,000 permanent new jobs.

Strong Economy: Google at Diridon will have enormous economic benefits for San Jose residents. Experts estimate that it will generate millions of dollars annually in new tax revenue for the city, county, and local school districts. This revenue will support local services like K-12 education, public safety, road repairs, public transit, parks, and our County Hospital.

Open Space: It will include new parkland and open space that will be open and available to the public. It will also utilize the space between buildings to create parks, plazas, and Paseos for members of the community to gather.

Affordable Housing: The most critical challenge facing San Jose is a lack of affordable housing. Young people who grow up here have to move away to find an affordable place to live; seniors who want to downsize have to do the same. Google at Diridon will generate revenue that directly supports building more affordable housing and a significant amount of new homes for the City.

Proximity to Transit Options: One of the biggest problems facing San Jose is our extreme traffic congestion. Google at Diridon would connect the thousands of people who live and work there to multiple transit lines at the Diridon Station ─ Caltrain, light rail, the Altamont Commuter Express, Amtrak, buses and express buses, and—by 2026—the BART extension. It’s designed to minimize traffic impacts, prevent pollution, and improve our quality of life.

Inclusive Planning: More than 5,000 San Jose residents worked together since 2011 to develop a future plan for Downtown development. After dozens of hearings and workshops, these citizens determined that at least 45,000 well-paying jobs are needed to create a vibrant downtown. Google at Diridon is an important step toward meeting this community goal.

Current Neighbors: Several thousand current Google employees already live in San Jose. This opportunity will shorten their commutes, and as a result ease traffic congestion for all of us on local roads and freeways.

Revitalizing Downtown: Google at Diridon will connect business and shopping districts in Downtown and Cahill Park, and create a Los Gatos Creek bike and pedestrian trail, revitalizing and connecting Downtown San Jose, and making it a destination for everyone to live, work and play.

Despite all the possibilities of a Google arrival in our Downtown, I’ve been dismayed recently by the scare tactics of a few emboldened anti-Google protesters that threaten to devolve our community discussion into attacks on people and not the real issues on which we should focus.

My organization, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, is proud to include Google as one of our 360 member employers. We welcome differing points of view and hope that we can respectfully and civilly discuss the issues for the best outcome for our Downtown.

– Nathan Ho, Senior Director of Housing and Community Development at the Leadership Group

Editor’s Note: The Google to San Jose potential project is not guaranteed. The city council is acting on the land sale of former Redevelopment sites and current city-owned sites on Tuesday, December 4. We need your help. Please consider engaging in the process in one – or all – of the three ways outlined below.

SEND A LETTER TO COUNCIL VIA EMAIL

Email your position of support to the San Jose City Council and Mayor, to be included in the official documents shared prior to the Dec. 4 vote.

Email your letter to:

Agenda Desk <[email protected]>,

Mayor <[email protected]>,

District1 <[email protected]>,

District2 <[email protected]>,

District3 <[email protected]>,

District4 <[email protected]>,

District5 <[email protected]>,

District6 <[email protected]>,

District7 <[email protected]>,

District8 <[email protected]>,

District9 <[email protected]>,

District 10 <[email protected]>,

City Clerk <[email protected]>

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Voice your support – and the reasons you feel the way you do about this potential project – through a letter to the editor to The Mercury News. Submit maximum of 150 words at https://www.mercurynews.com/letters-to-the-editor/.

ATTEND THE DEC. 4 CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Please also consider attending the Tuesday, Dec. 4 San Jose council meeting and providing public testimony.

When you’re there, pick up a public comment card when you first enter the council chambers, fill it out and place it in the clear plexiglass box at the bottom of the stairs.

Details on the meeting, agenda, etc. can be found here.

 

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