Google reportedly halts construction of its giant San Jose campus

Google has halted construction of its planned 80-acre San Jose campus, Downtown West, after an initial demolition phase. The company reportedly “gutted” the campus development team as part of its January 2021 layoffs and has frozen construction without indicating when it may resume. A Google spokesperson stated that the company is still determining “how to best move forward” with the campus project, adding that the firm wants office space to reflect the “future needs” of the business, hybrid workers and the community. Critics of the project, which was due to start construction in 2021 following years of design and negotiations with San Jose, objected to the elimination or relocation of well-known businesses and landmarks. However, the project was promised to bring an economic boon to San Jose and the wider Silicon Valley area. At present, Google is laying off around 12,000 employees this year, as a result of would-be ad and cloud service customers cutting their budgets. The company is also adopting a hybrid work strategy which allows staff to work from home. Despite the uncertain future of Downtown West, the project’s long-term timeframe provides Google with flexibility, meaning the project could still resume at a later date.

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