The Santa Clara City Council voted 7-0 to cleared the hassle for a sprawling Yahoo campus of thirteen six-story buildings resembling rival Google Inc.'s stately headquarters situated less than 10 miles away.
According to public records, the proposed 3-million square foot campus could provide some 12,000 employees, a monumental portion of Yahoo's world-wide total of roughly 13,900 as of the end of December.
A Yahoo spokeswoman said plans to break ground on the new campus have not been announced and declined to comment further.
“Yahoo wanted to settle in an area of high corporate visibility,” as it strengthens facilities and employees, Santa Clara director of planning and inspection Kevin Riley said during a city council meeting, the WSJ said.
Yahoo acquired the properties for the proposed Santa Clara campus as part of a US$112 million purchase in 2006, and will contribute over $10 million on transportation and other improvements to the city, according to public records on the city's Web site. The company's current, Sunnyvale, Calif. headquarters was built during the Internet bubble roughly a decade ago.
“For them it is a big chunk of money to invest and for the city it is a great deal to have someone like Yahoo come into the city,” said Riley.
Yahoo stumble in 2008, as it avoided an unsolicited buyout bid from Microsoft Corp., and fell well behind Google in the Internet search market. Now, under Chief Executive Carol Bartz, the company is attempting to streamline operations, while easing investments in search and bolstering its display advertising business.
“We had a good quarter, generating income from operations higher than our outlook,” said Bartz. “Thanks to our efforts, our search share has stabilized, and we grew display advertising by 20 percent year over year. More importantly, guaranteed display grew by 24 percent as advertisers took advantage of the science, art and scale that only Yahoo! can offer.”
Yahoo is meanwhile seeing increasing competition from larger players such as Google and younger peers including Facebook Inc. in the display business. According to data released recently by comScore Inc., Yahoo was surpassed by Facebook in delivering display advertising on its sites in the first quarter of this year. Last month, Yahoo reported a first-quarter profit that rose sharply compared to the same period last year.
Once finished, the new southern California site will include 13 six-story office buildings and three two-story special-use buildings to accommodate cafeterias, fitness centers and possibly child care facilities so the 12,000 employees meant to work there can arrive early and stay late if they want to, according to Yahoo representatives at the city council hearing. The majority of parking will be underground, with only 9 percent of land above ground set aside for additional parking lots and 60 percent of land to be landscaped, green areas.
Yahoo planners have been engrossed to make the project carbon neutral in a number of ways, including keeping the campus green with underground parking lots, building new bike paths, putting in pedestrian ways to promote the use of public transportation, and adding solar panels that will ultimately provide about 8 percent of the power required by the campus, according to Yahoo representatives at the hearing.
“It is a very high quality, well done development,” Riley said.
Yahoo's Humongous New HQ -- See Images And Video here.