Tech giants LinkedIn and Google battled it out for building rights in Mountain View's North Bayshore at a six-and-a-half-hour city council meeting last night, and LinkedIn walked away the clear winner. Mountain View's city council awarded LinkedIn rights to submit formal plans for about 1.4 million square feet of the 2.2 million available in the area, leaving Google with a measly 515,000 square feet, the San Francisco Business Times reports. That means that Google has room for only one of the four buildings it had planned for the futuristic, robot-assisted new campus conceived by Heatherwick Studios and Bjarke Ingels Group.
Google had hoped to scoop up virtually all of the developable office space available under Mountain View's land-use plan, and sought to add 2.5 million square feet of new space alongside walking trails, plazas, and community gardens. Speaking to the city council, Google's vice president for real estate and workplace services, David Radcliffe, expressed uncertainty that his company's project could be viable with just one building.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, was awarded 88 percent of the land that it requested and wants to use it to build six new office buildings, a new theater, a health club, and a retail street. The company will still have to get approvals before starting the project, but last night's allocation was the major hurdle. LinkedIn is working with architecture firm Studios on its plans, which are more subdued than Google's grand vision. The new project would give LinkedIn room for as many as 8,000 workers.
The city council weighed many factors in its decision, from the desire to have a more diverse set of companies in Mountain View to the option to open up some of the North Bayshore land to housing units. The council offered Google the option to tear down existing office space to build housing, but the company says it is already stretched for space for its workers, a predicament that makes that plan unviable. It's unclear what Google's next move will be and if there will be any future for its vision of a campus defined by crabots, glass canopies, and movable walls.
· Here's Google's Plan for Its Futuristic, Robot-Assisted Glassy New Campus [Curbed SF]
· LinkedIn Gets Most of the Bonus FAR Real Estate Capacity in Mountain View's North Bayshore [SF Business Times]
· LinkedIn Plans for New Office, Plus Retail Promenade in Mountain View Development Plans [Silicon Valley Business Journal]