Tech giants like Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn are known for their digital products. But in the past several years, these companies and others like them have started to focus on an industry beyond their core business: real estate development.
From the lure of tax credits to efforts to provide residences for employees, there are several reasons why Silicon Valley companies are looking to build housing and even entire cities.
Take a look at some examples below.
In 2017, the Mountain View City Council approved a Google-backed plan to construct nearly 10,000 homes.
Google recently won city approval to construct a giant campus — which will include housing, offices, shops, businesses, and a public park — in the North Bayshore area of Mountain View, California.
Advocates of the 3.6 million-square foot development say that it will help alleviate the area’s affordable housing crisis. Around 20% of the homes will be priced at below-market rate.
Though Google threatened to block the construction of the homes unless city officials gave the company permission to build another 800,000 square feet of office space beyond its original proposal, Mountain View City Council green-lit the plan for the homes in December, The Mercury News reported.
It calls for three new residential neighborhoods — Joaquin, Shorebird, and Pear — that will span 154 acres and include homes ranging from studios to three-bedroom units.
In late 2017, a division of Google parent company Alphabet announced plans to develop a swath of Toronto’s waterfront into a “smart city.”