MOUNTAIN VIEW — First it was Facebook, then Apple and now Google is constructing a unique headquarters in Silicon Valley. But the search giant's new building in Mountain View is just the tip of the iceberg of the company's massive expansion plans.
Anyone who's driven on Highway 101 through Mountain View recently has probably seen the many construction cranes off to the east, where Google is growing like gangbusters.
It's a futuristic campus that's made up of triangular pieces topped with solar panels. The building has been likened to a big top tent, and Google's version of the Apple "Spaceship."
"Well, we are the epicenter of Silicon Valley, and, so, I think it's great to have new architecture," said Mountain View Mayor Lisa Matichak. "Something unique and different for our city."
But unlike Apple and other tech companies, Google is going beyond just a signature headquarters. The search giant has plans for what the city calls "complete neighborhoods," which combine office space with retail, public parks and housing.
"It is a real statement piece for Google," said Matichauk, adding that it could add as much as 40 to 50 percent to the city's housing stock. "Which is a huge number in comparison to our neighboring cities," she sad.
Will all of this tech-fueled construction be enough to counter the housing crisis gripping Mountain View, where, like other Bay Area cities, some people are forced to live in cars and RV's because they can't afford the rent?