Google's New Office Space Could Have Huge Impact on Downtown San Jose

San Jose is the largest city in California's Silicon Valley, yet some of the tech industry's largest employers maintain their biggest offices elsewhere. That could soon change. City of San Jose officials recently confirmed rumors that Google is looking to lease up to 6 million square feet of office space in downtown San Jose. Currently, Google's largest campus is its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., encompassing 3.1 million square feet.

The area in San Jose in which Google is looking to lease is known as Diridon Station and could experience a jump-start in its redevelopment if Google moves in. The City of San Jose envisions Diridon Station as a vibrant, mixed-use area surrounding several major transportation investments. One company is set to develop approximately 1 million square feet of office space alongside hundreds of apartments in Diridon Station. Ultimately, the area is expected to include public plazas, ground-level retail, and a greenbelt and park along Los Gatos Creek. With the development of Diridon Station at a critical juncture, San Jose officials have called Google's potential move to the area a huge win for the city.

Tech Startup Backs New Cryptocurrency with Commercial Real Estate

European financial technology startup company BrickCoin recently announced that it is producing "brickcoins," a new proprietary cryptocurrency that uses blockchain technology and is backed by real estate held by real estate investment trusts (REITs).

While the company is not yet active, BrickCoin is registered in the United States, United Kingdom and European Union, which suggests it will seek an international presence. Each unit of the company's eponymous cryptocurrency will represent an investment in a piece of mortgage-free real estate held as part of a REIT. Brickcoin transactions will be managed, authenticated and tracked using blockchain technology. By backing brickcoins with a stable, mainstream asset class, such as commercial real estate, it is hoped that users of brickcoins will be protected against risks associated with unregulated cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and Ethereum.

City of Los Angeles Sued Over Waste-Hauling Franchise System

The City of Los Angeles has been sued by a Sherman Oaks apartment building owner and the Apartment Owners Association of California in an attempt to stop the city from implementing its waste-hauling franchise system slated to go into effect in July.

A waste-hauling franchise system has existed in Los Angeles for the past three years, but the city recently redrew its 11 franchise zones and awarded contracts that include fee increases to seven waste disposal companies. The lawsuit alleges that the fee increases are actually new taxes that California's Proposition 218 would require a public vote to enact. The lawsuit also alleges that the fee increases do not apply equally to all residents and businesses, but rather disproportionately burden owners of commercial property and certain multifamily properties.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office has not commented on the lawsuit. The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy — a proponent of the franchise system — has expressed its opinion that the lawsuit is simply a delay tactic and will not succeed.

Announcing the West Coast Real Estate, Land Use, Environment and Energy Groups' 2016 Annual Report

Holland & Knight's West Coast Real Estate, Land Use, Environment and Energy Groups' 2016 Annual Report showcases transactions handled by our West Coast attorneys and highlights the effectiveness of our West Coast Real Estate, Land Use, Environment and Energy practices. In this inaugural edition, we highlight a number of the notable projects that our group worked on during calendar year 2016. These projects spanned all aspects of our groups' capabilities, including sophisticated financings for data centers, construction loans on a variety of product types, bond financings for residential and commercial infrastructure, residential communities, as well as commercial acquisitions, dispositions, major leasing transactions and permitting approvals. The report focuses on the work of our West Coast attorneys, who represent a wide range of clients throughout the U.S. and the world. We invite you to read more about these transactions in our digital brochure. In addition, a complimentary hard copy of the West Coast Real Estate, Land Use, Environment and Energy Groups' 2016 Annual Report is available by email.