Biking and Parking in NBS
Google's Housing Project
Google is implementing the City's plan for North Bayshore with new designs from SITELAB, Google's urban designer, and Lendlease, their residential development partner. They will be giving us an update at our next dinner meeting (free pizza!) on October 20, 2022.
See http://santiagovilla.org/rsvp to register.
Google's projects will add thousands of residences and local retailers, and the company will donate land for a school. The objective is to decrease the number of cars and busses coming into NBS daily, and to provide a walkable, bikeable space for all NBS employees and residents.
Many of us biked or walked through that shortcut to Shorebird and the Google campus, but now it is open and accessible. There are green lanes and striped pavement at that location.
Google has been making major improvements to bike paths on its campus, and we are encouraged to use them. Take a look at their video showing the vision for Charleston between Alta and Shoreline. If you ride your bike on that street, you can see that most of it is already completed.
Google, Sobrato, Microsoft, and USPS have had to adjust to the new precise plan vision too. Parking is going to be quite limited for residents of the new Sobrato buildings - they have planned an average of only .6 vehicles per apartment (some will have none, others only one). During construction, Sobrato will be using the Pear Google parking lot for their workers and staff, parking vehicles only in the areas they have already fenced off. They will be building parking lots for new residents and staff, but those will be under the new buildings.
Microsoft now has a new parking lot behind its new campus for its employees, and Google will be building a new parking lot at the current location of 1345 Shorebird, which is right outside of our park's fence, behind the mobile homes inside the park on Space Park. There will be other lots elsewhere on the campus, and construction on a new one between Huff and Alta (the "Landings" project) is nearly complete.
Since we are losing a lot of parking, SVNA and park management asked Google REWS if they might consider allowing parking for our residents in the proposed 1345 Shorebird structure on evenings and weekends. Legal Operations was tasked with the decision, but they rejected the request, citing potential liability. But since it will be years before parking would even be a possibility at that location, we will raise that issue again when the structure has been built and is finally available.
The current plan affecting us is an extension of a new greenway, which will run in front of our park, into the expanded wildlife area at the new Eco Gem at the Charleston Retention Basin, just north of the egret rookery.
The northeast corner will be restored as a natural habitat, and an Urban Ecology Center that will serve as a destination for nature hikes. Residents and employees will be also be able to use a new bike and pedestrian pathway to get into The Wilds, which is what they plan to call their nature area.
Google's urban planners are also proposing a new street north of Santiago Villa, and employee parking would be at the end of that street.
Right now there is a fence and a tree line there, and maintaining the natural habitat is desireable. Santiago Villa residents will probably want to have direct access to the new neighborhood, or perhaps have another gate into it at Oro Way and the northern end of Armand. There might also be an opportunity to restore a gate behind the park leading to the Stevens Creek Trail, since there used to be one at the end of Casa Grande.
Google Real Estate and Workplace Services (REWS) has been careful to make sure Santiago Villa residents have been involved in their plans. Some of us were involved on Charleston East, which is nearly finished, and we were present at groundbreaking. We're hoping to be invited to attend the ribbon-cutting.
When construction is done, the new NBS will be a nice place to walk, bike, dine, and shop.
By 2025, we are going to have a small city in front of our park. SVNA has been working with the Sobrato Organization since 2017 on the development of the project. The South Parcel, on the La Avenida side, is now under construction. Sobrato will start on the North Parcel, on the Space Park side, sometime in 2023.