Google Cancels Major Project

Many companies are doing massive layoffs and cost-cutting measures, but Google announced the most severe cost-cutting in the company’s history.

In January, Google announced its plan to cut 6 percent of its workforce, amounting to 12,000 lost jobs. Tech stock performance has been lackluster since the 2008 financial meltdown. Covid and work at home also contributed to the low performance of tech stocks. 

Google’s ambitious 80-acre campus project, “Downtown West,” has returned to the drawing board indefinitely. The massive, planned expansion has left downtown San Jose, California, economy on hold, although Google disputes those reports.

Google has notified contractors that the $19 billion project is currently in limbo with no construction date named. Insiders who were not named due to non-disclosure contracts said the project might not materialize to the size of the original master plan. 

Google has removed all construction updates from its website and eliminated the San Jose campus development team. 

LendLease, the principal developer of the “Downtown West” project, reduced its workforce by 67 employees, including engagement managers and development managers. Despite the workforce reduction, LendLease claims their company is still “committed” to planning for mixed-use improvements in the Bay Area.

Lendlease is a worldwide real estate and construction company headquartered in Barangaroo, New South Wales, Australia. 

While discussions continue with construction on hold, suppliers and contractors who thought they had a job are forced to move to other projects. 

Google began the idea of this project two years ago, got California Governor Gavin Newsom and Google Senior VP Kent Walker on board, and got the approval from the city council to bring the campus to fruition. Newsom used the project as proof of a post-Covid comeback to California’s economy. As it turns out, California’s economic comeback is premature.

Despite this recent downturn, a Google spokesperson tried to ensure Google’s commitments and investments in San Jose are for the long run. Google claims they want to protect its real estate investments, its hybrid workforce, and its business interests.