Google's futuristic campus closer to reality after land deal

In a swap with LinkedIn, the company gets its dream real estate.


In a surprising real estate move for two Silicon Valley giants, Google and LinkedIn just traded nearly 3.5 million square feet of existing office buildings and future development space in Mountain View, California. As Silicon Valley Business Journal reports today, exactly zero dollars changed hands in the deal, but the "grand bargain" will clear a path for Google's futuristic new campus design.

That design, from star architects Bjarke Ingels and Thomas Heatherwick, was announced last year to much fanfare – at the time, Bloomberg Magazine called it "the most ambitious project unveiled by Google this year." But all that hype was effectively quashed when the Mountain View city council voted to take the land Google was proposing to develop and give it to LinkedIn instead. With the land swap, Google can now go ahead with the visionary plan that includes adaptable canopies and custom robot cranes that can build and reconfigure the layout on-site.

Although LinkedIn had big dreams of its own for the North Bayshore site, a rep for the social network told the Business Journal those plans would have taken too long to build out and would have split up the company across two sites in the meantime. Instead, they will acquire additional property in Mountain View and Sunnyvale next door that will keep the campus in one piece -- and probably stretch those Microsoft billions a little bit farther as well.