Sobrato
Builders

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.
 
Their projects will add thousands of residences and local retailers, and Google 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.

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Google is now building a formal passage at that break in the fence, and it will be completed by 9/30/21. We will soon see green lanes and striped pavement at that location. You can see what it is going to look like if you view a new video showing the vision for Charleston between Alta and Shoreline. If you ride your bike on that street, you can see that some of it is already completed.

Parking

Google, Sobrato, Microsoft, and USPS are having to adjust to the new precise plan vision too. Parking is going to be quite limited for residents of the new Sobrato buildings - 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 area 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 has already started on a new one between Huff and Alta. 

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, and 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.

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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.

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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 neighbor-hood, 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 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.

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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. On Sobrato's website you can monitor progress by viewing the construction schedule to see what they're currently working on. The South Parcel, on the La Avenida side, will be built first. The North Parcel, on the Space Park side, will be completed in 2025.

In our meetings with Senior VP Tim Steele, we asked if Sobrato could install a gate at the end of El Centro, so we can walk, bike, dine, and shop in the new development. Mr. Steele said a gate sub-project will be added to the plan if we can get agreement from residents and park management. During our monthly meetings, many residents have spoken up in favor of the gate, and opened the discussion of other potential gates. We will follow up on this in our SVNA Zoom meetings.

Construction in Progress

But more important right now is the certified Notification of Work letter we all received. We will be working with Pear project manager Jonah Elisha going forward, but we talked to Tim Steele recently about some of the construction details.

 

Tim wanted to let us know that they have placed vibration monitors in the park to record any potential disturbances to our homes. If your home has been leveled and you have the paperwork to prove it, they will restore any leveling changes or damage done by construction. But because they are using auger technology instead of jack-hammers for excavating, any such disturbances should be minimized.

Devcon will build the new office building on the corner of Inigo and La Avenida first.  There will eventually be a light at that corner, and CalTrans will be reconfiguring the 101 offramp to divert traffic into that area, which should ease traffic on Shoreline.

Sobrato has a construction office in the Pear Theatre office building, but we can phone Jonah Elisha at (808) 747-3462 to talk about any concerns about their project. 

Google and Sobrato Construction

We have been involved with Google planners and developers of North Bayshore since 2015. Google Real Estate and Workplace Services, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Lendlease, and Community Development experts have been helpful and responsive to Santiago Villa residents.

With Sobrato and Google's new developments, we should have a vibrant new neighborhood by 2025. We're going to continue to work with them to make sure our community remains an integrated part of the new neighborhood.

In 2014, the City of Mountain View initiated a "precise plan" for North Bayshore (NBS) that will encourage walking and biking, and discourage automobile traffic. We can't blame Google, Sobrato, or Microsoft for loss of parking, because the City's precise plan is responsible for those changes.

That's why we lost parking spaces on Space Park and La Avenida, but gained bike lanes on La Avenida. And now we're seeing new construction at a break in the fence between Pickering Labs and Google (1250 and 1280 Space Park Way). Many of us have biked or walked through that shortcut to Shorebird and the Google campus.