City officials in Mountain View have something of a dilemma on their hands.
The city, located about 40 miles south of San Francisco, has for some time been home to a number of big-name tech firms, and with many of them continuing to expand, the hunt is on for land to build new offices.
On the same day that Google submitted plans for a swish new headquarters in the North Bayshore part of the city, LinkedIn put in plans of its own for new offices and other amenities.
According to a report in the San Francisco Business Times, the development area in North Bayshore is currently limited to 3.4 million square feet. It may not surprise you that Google’s plans for its brand new campus require not a foot less. LinkedIn, on the other hand, submitted proposals for new office space covering 1.6 million square feet. And other companies have submitted plans for expansion as well.
It’s not clear how planning officials will resolve the issue — there’s a chance they could free up additional land to accommodate more businesses, or Google may be asked to take another look at the size of its proposed HQ.
Freeing up more land for construction, however, could upset some members of the local community already concerned about the strain they believe the enormous tech companies are putting on the city’s infrastructure.
LinkedIn’s proposals have been worked on with architectural firm Studios, which also happened to design Google’s current “Googleplex” HQ.
In an effort to win support from officials, much of LinkedIn’s planned site would be open to the public. The proposal includes a “village-center concept” with energy-efficient office buildings arranged around a central green. It also offers a promenade of stores, a new movie theater, and a luxury gym. Underground parking would allow about 40 percent of the street-level site to be open space. Investment in other local amenities, including the city library, would also be part of the package.
Meanwhile, Google’s plans include a massive complex with sweeping curved roofs, glass walls and “lightweight block-like structures” which can be moved around inside the buildings, allowing employees to alter the layout of the offices according to the kind of projects they’re working on at any given time. Like LinkedIn, Google is also promising to contribute to the local area with a variety of amenities.
Of course, Friday’s proposals are the first step in what’ll be a lengthy process before any construction work begins, with plans likely to undergo a number of changes over time. Will LinkedIn wins over Google? Or will the Web giant gets its way at the expense of the social networking company’s plans? Only time — and maybe the Mountain View Planning Board — will tell.
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