Sound Off: What the Google/LinkedIn land swap means to real estate

  • 8f55e 920x920 Sound Off: What the Google/LinkedIn land swap means to real estate



A: The land swap and proposed development projects by Google and LinkedIn will affect local real estate both positively and negatively.

With LinkedIn moving 3,700 employees to Sunnyvale, there will be a much greater demand for residential real estate in Silicon Valley.

People who currently own residential real estate will benefit from this swap and see greater returns on their investments due to the increase in workers and consequent demand for housing. The flip side is that increased demand without the construction of new homes will increase the cost of housing.

Google’s dominating presence in a large development known as North Bayshore Commons will also increase the housing demand in Mountain View and drive up housing prices in Mountain View.

If Mountain View and Sunnyvale cannot house all of the incoming employees, San Francisco could also absorb these higher house prices, and price people out of owning their own home.

These developments not only secure real estate as a solid investment, but also make the dream of owning a home in San Francisco and the South Bay more challenging to meet.

Meghan Duffy,

McGuire Real Estate,

(415) 652-0677,

A: Corporate diversity is the real reason behind the recent swap of land between Google and LinkedIn. Google was originally turned down because of strategic corporate diversity by the Mountain View council, when they tried to buy the land that LinkedIn acquired.

Through a swap of land, buildings and ultimately several hundred millions of dollars, Google ultimately got what they had wanted in the first place. When Microsoft originally acquired LinkedIn, I’m sure this helped Google realize that Microsoft wouldn’t want the land and Google could acquire the land at a decent price to continue their strategic growth as a company/campus.

This ultimately allows Google to develop its futuristic Canopy campus, an indoor-outdoor spider-web canopy utopia. LinkedIn is able to double its current office space and not have to go through the development, planning and building process to achieve their goals. Fortunately, we live in a tech utopia where many players have the proactive strategy and ability to acquire such deals. Google will still have to deal with the planning headaches, but that is a luxury they are willing to deal with now that they own the land.

Ultimately, this keeps jobs in the Bay Area and our prices upwardly stable.

Matt Heafey,

the Grubb Co., (510) 541-1754,

A: There’s a chance this deal will soften San Francisco’s housing market a bit as employees look for homes in the South Bay. Sellers here should expect prices to remain robust as the market sees more buyers competing.

When these tech complexes fill up, we are likely to see people choose a three-bedroom home with a yard instead of a one bedroom condo in San Francisco.

Places like Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Willow Glen and Campbell will see a surge because of their proximity to the campuses. These are areas where employees will be close enough that they can go home on their lunch break — or grab something they forgot. The South Bay employees could ride bikes or use public transportation to get home while their San Francisco colleagues are still on the road.

There is urban life in Silicon Valley proper that should lure tech employees. Downtown areas in Palo Alto, Campbell, San Jose, etc. offer urban living and nightlife at suburban prices.

And, of course, the South Bay’s weather adds to its appeal. There’s more of a Mediterranean climate here. That alone is enough for some employees to live here rather than San Francisco.

Pat Kapowich,

Kapowich Real Estate,

(408) 245-7700,

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