There’s no doubt that the City of San Jose has changed over the years as Silicon Valley’s boom has transformed the entire Bay Area.
And while tech company business dealings always seem to be wrapped up in NDAs for good reason, sometimes the very existence of NDAs can lead to bad PR and left-field litigation. Google’s new planned San Jose village is a prime example of how the overuse of NDAs can backfire, as their planned company town is now at the center of a public interest lawsuit as a result of secret dealing.
Keeping Competition Out of It
The Google village is supposed to take over a former San Jose transit hub and become one of those modern company towns that provides lodging, and all the amenities of a town (shopping, restaurants, etc…), while being a transit hub. And with countless other major tech companies within earshot, clearly Google was trying to keep their plans out of the prying eyes of their competition.
Though early reporting is a little light on the details of Google’s side of the story, it is alleged by two concerned non-profits that the City of San Jose violated the Brown Act of 1953, which prohibits certain closed door meetings of public officials. Basically, it is alleged that the NDA agreements which Google required the City (and some officials) to enter into in order to negotiate a potential land sale violated the Brown Act.
Although Google may not be a party to the lawsuit, it’s almost certain that the company is feeling the effects as the lawsuit seems to suggest some underhanded dealings went down.
Keeping Up With the Facebook
The Google village sounds quite a bit like the planned Facebookopolis, which could be complete in a few short years now.
But, unlike the Facebook town, much less is known about the plans to include affordable housing or the other benefits the tech company will bring to the area, apart from the millions in cash for the sale of the valuable real estate.