Google to triple California real estate spending to $3.5 billion in 2022

The company said Wednesday that expansion would benefit employees, who were required to return to the office part-time last week.

“Google’s offices and data centers provide vital anchors to our local communities and help us contribute to their economies. As we embrace more flexibility in how we work, we believe it’s more important than ever to invest in our campuses and that doing so will make for better products, a greater quality of life for our employees, and stronger communities,” said Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a statement.

The company won approval last year for its massive Downtown West project near Diridon Station in San Jose, which calls for 4,000 new homes, more than 7 million square feet of offices and 15 acres of parks and outdoor space. It says it will submit plans this year for site preparation and infrastructure improvements.

Google agreed to a $200 million community benefits agreement that includes job training, homelessness assistance and small-business support.

“The unprecedented private-public partnership and investment of $200 million to San Jose, is one of the largest in the state and we are thankful to Google for their ongoing commitment to our community and California,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo, a strong supporter of the project, in a statement.

But some residents fear the project will exacerbate already out-of-reach housing prices and do little to benefit the community, leading to protests during the approvals process.

Google also plans to open a Mountain View campus called Bay View, while continuing work on two projects called Charleston East and Landings. The company also has projects in Sunnyvale and Los Angeles’ former Westside Pavilion mall, expected to open next year.

The plans don’t include San Francisco, where the company has previously leased numerous offices near the Embarcadero.

Other projects include offices in Atlanta; New York; Boulder, Colo.; and Austin, Texas.

Fellow tech giants Facebook and Apple also signed major Silicon Valley leases last year and have major expansion efforts spanning the country.

Roland Li is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @rolandlisf

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