Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Google’s Moffett Field Modular Apartment Plan Hailed as Housing Crisis Fix

With rental costs skyrocketing and homes out of reach for many, Google has hit on a solution that may help it attract workers to the crushingly expensive Bay Area.

The tech giant plans to buy 300 units of modular housing to serve as temporary employee accommodations on its planned “Bay View” campus at NASA’s Moffett Field, according to a source familiar with the plan.

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Experts heralded the move as not only good for Google, but as a potential template for others to follow as the high cost of construction combined with expensive real estate make affordable housing hard to come by.

Google’s move with prefabricated units is seen as a small but promising step toward solving the region’s housing crisis.

“That’s definitely a really great start,” said Wayne Chen, city of Mountain View housing and neighborhood services manager. “Any time we can find innovative ways to address the housing crisis is an opportunity that we really welcome.”

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The Bay View project, which has been in the works for several years but plagued by delays, will consist of three large office buildings totaling about 600,000 square feet, according to a site assessment issued by NASA in July. It’s unclear when the project will be completed.

Google, which recently said it was finding it easier to hire people in Seattle than in the Bay Area because of this region’s sky-high housing costs, plans apartment-style, modular units at the Bay View campus. The company is also planning two additional campuses, massive developments in San Jose and Mountain View.

The Mountain View search giant declined to provide details about its plan. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the project will cost $25 million to $30 million, and that Factory OS of Vallejo will build the units.

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