Google searches for homes so­lu­tion with model vil­lage

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligen­ce - By Margi Mur­phy in San Fran­cisco

GOOGLE has un­veiled de­signs for a tech­nol­ogy-fo­cused vil­lage filled with of­fice space, shops, lakes and play­ing fields and new homes, de­spite telling em­ploy­ees that they will be work­ing from home un­til July next year.

It submitted on Tues­day a pro­posal to re­model a 40 acre plot in Moun­tain View, Cal­i­for­nia, which is home to its in­ter­na­tional head­quar­ters.

The im­pres­sive Mid­dle­field Park Mas­ter Plan de­tails a cam­pus with 1.33 mil­lion square feet of of­fice space, 30,000 square feet of re­tail space, up to 1,850 hous­ing units, and 20,000 square feet of civic and event space, as well as 12 acres of open space.

The de­signs de­pict a Utopian green space with a town square, a football field and a lake with res­i­dents kayak­ing and swim­ming.

Michael Ty­moff, its real es­tate direc­tor, told the Moun­tain View Voice that it wants em­ploy­ees to move into the vil­lage “where a lot of the needs and ser­vices are within walk­ing dis­tance from where you live and work”.

While it may be­come home to some of Google’s engi­neers, Mid­dle­field Park forms part of an ini­tia­tive to in­vest in hous­ing to al­le­vi­ate San Fran­cisco’s hous­ing cri­sis an­nounced by Google boss Sun­dar Pichai last year, who pledged $1bn to cre­ate 20,000 new homes.

Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies and their em­ploy­ees have long been ac­cused of cre­at­ing inequality in San Fran­cisco, which plays host to some of the wealth­i­est in­di­vid­u­als in the world yet has high rates of home­less­ness.

An in­flux of work­ers to Face­book, Net­flix, Google, Ap­ple and oth­ers has pushed the cost of liv­ing and hous­ing up. In June last year an av­er­age onebed­room apart­ment in San Fran­cisco cost $3,750 a month (£2,874), ac­cord­ing to list­ings web­site Zumper.

How­ever, some of the big­gest em­ploy­ers in the val­ley like Face­book, Uber and Airbnb have told work­ers they will not be re­turn­ing to the of­fice un­til next year, ac­cel­er­at­ing the mi­gra­tion of work­ers who are tak­ing the op­por­tu­nity to es­cape high rents and cramped con­di­tions now they are able to work from home.

Av­er­age rents have fallen 16pc yearon-year, ac­cord­ing to Zumper.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of how Google’s tech­nol­ogy vil­lage will look

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