Google to plant nursery, not tech in Gilroy

40-acre site will provide landscaping

Google LLC has bought 40 acres of agricultural land next to Gilroy’s southeast city limits—but don’t expect new buildings and new jobs out of the deal.

That’s because the Silicon Valley giant said it is going to plant trees, not technology, at the site.

A company spokesperson said the mostly vacant land will be used as a “tree nursery” to provide foliage for its office campuses in the Bay Area.

The company paid $2.1 million for the land in a deal that closed Oct. 3, Google said. San Benito Realty handled the transaction. The seller was identified as a collection of trusts headed by Dean Smith, Jo Ann Smith and Gloria Pollock.

The land is off Rossi Lane just east of US Highway 101 near where Monterey Road connects with the freeway. A couple of dilapidated structures sit at its northwest corner.

Local economic development officials were not aware of the Google purchase.

The 39.557-acre site is zoned for “large scale agricultural” use and is in federal flood plain, according to city records.

Google did not identify any longer range plans for the property. The Realtor described it as “an agricultural property that has some development potential. The property is located across the street from the Obata Industrial Park. The properties nearby to the northwest and southwest are within the city limits of Gilroy and zoned M2 Industrial.”

Google, whose parent company is Alphabet Inc., is expanding the campus at its Mountain View headquarters and is moving forward to build a huge mixed-use downtown San Jose office complex that could eventually reach 6.5 million square feet of offices for 20,000 employees.

The 60-acre planned campus around Diridon Station would include about 15 acres of open space and parkland, with early plans showing ideas for tree-lined walkways and bicycle paths that connect office space and housing.

Google earlier this year announced that much of its real estate growth is occurring outside the Bay Area. The company plans to spend $13 billion on new offices and data centers in the US in 2019, in Virginia, Georgia, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

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