SAN JOSE — Construction crews have begun the initial stages of their months-long task to demolish buildings and clear sites for phase one of Google’s game-changing downtown San Jose transit village.
On Monday, initial excavation and interior building demolition began at sites on South Montgomery Street and adjacent Otterson Street near the Diridon train station and SAP Center in downtown San Jose, work that continued on Tuesday.
This demolition and site clearing should be completed by no later than the end of January, according to information Google has provided to this news organization.
Google plans to break ground on its mixed-use San Jose neighborhood, Downtown West, in 2023, the search giant said earlier this month.
Offices, homes, stores and shops will be included in the Downtown West neighborhood, where Google could employ up to 25,000 tech workers.
The tech titan will install an array of infrastructure, including a power facility, ahead of the construction of new office buildings.
Early this week, construction crews were using machines to conduct excavations at multiple sites at 81 S. Montgomery St.
The work was being done on a parking lot from which the iconic Stephen’s Meat Products (Dancing Pig sign) was removed and trucked away on Oct. 6 so the sign could be permanently preserved and displayed prominently.
Inside the former Sunlite Baking Co. building, a pile of debris consisting of what appeared to be metal, tubes and ductwork was visible on Tuesday.
A construction worker said that tasks would have to be completed inside the buildings slated for demolition before the bulldozing of structures begins in earnest.
By the time the work is complete in the coming months, four buildings are slated to be razed.
The buildings that will be demolished have addresses of 140, 145 and 102 S. Montgomery St.; and 327 Otterson St.
These properties are known as the Sunlite Bakery Bread Depot, the former Patty’s Inn drinking establishment and an old Airgas store. A building next to the Airgas outlet is also headed for demolition.
In a further sign that Google will preserve some key components of the development, the company aims to use the Art Moderne-style entrance of the old bakery building somewhere in the transit village project.
The Downtown West neighborhood will include up to 7.3 million square feet of offices, 4,000 residential units, 500,000 square feet of retail space such as shops and restaurants, 300 hotel rooms and 15 acres of open space.
In May 2022, Google completed an early payment of $7.5 million in a community-benefits payment made to the city of San Jose. The company will pay the rest of the public benefits as the Downtown West development proceeds. All told, the community benefits package totals $200 million.
As a reminder of the long-running effort behind the Downtown West project, it was nearly six years ago, in December 2016, that Google bought the first of the properties it would need for the development. That initial purchase was the old bakery building, located just south of the dancing pig sign site.
Google has spent at least a half-billion dollars purchasing scores of properties that it requires for the Downtown West neighborhood. The acquisitions were made over a stretch from December 2016 through March 2020.
Using official purchase prices for the recorded transactions and combining those amounts with the estimated value of purchases that Google made to buy properties near the historic San Jose Water Co. building in the Delmas Avenue area, Google has spent an estimated $531.7 million purchasing the Downtown West future sites.
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