Moffett Airfield is the latest piece in the Internet giant’s real-estate puzzle.
Google is well known for its acquisition of various robotics companies, but it has also started to make a name for itself in real-estate – as long as we’re just talking about Mountain View, California. The company owns 10.7 percent of all taxable property in the city, and they just became the proud new owners of their very own airport.
The new property at Moffett Airfield will open up a range of R&D possibilities for the company within its new hangars – just so long as none of it breaks the law. Google will still have to operate the airport when the government needs it, and if it wants to test drones or any other technology in the available airspace, explicit approval will need to be obtained first.
While many might think it’s good news for the city, the fact the company has no sales tax to pay on its search or ad businesses means there is actually very little revenue for the city from Google’s presence. Traffic is another huge concern, especially as the company’s 11,000+ workers have to travel along Highway 101 to reach North Bayshore where the company’s offices are located. One third make use of company shuttle buses, and only 50% of employees drove to work alone, but as the internet search giant continues to grow, the problem will only intensify.
As pointed out in an extremely in-depth article on The Verge about Google’s grand ambitions, it would seem the company’s long-range plan is to create an unbroken line of property that spans Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale. Even though the city council has trashed plans for residential areas in North Bayshore, they have no jurisdiction over Federal land such as the new airfield. Google’s very own island would require a series of bridges and infrastructure, which the council has also refused outright amidst worries about the environment.
The problem is that Google will continue its onward march one way or another, which means they could slowly push the city council into a corner. Either accept the plans for bridges to connect the various leased land, or allow Highway 101 to turn into a giant parking lot and reduce the quality of life for other residents.
To read more about this fascinating development, be sure to read the full article over at The Verge.
Source: The Verge