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Lendlease and Google’s $20billion deal at Google Silicon Valley is a great opportunity for sustainable outperformance

The urban construction deal, which has been two years in the making, is the largest in Lendlease’s 61 years of trading.

And while there is no direct mention about sustainability goals at this point, the deal signed by the two companies has the potential to create a worldclass sustainability showcase if both sides choose to go down that route.

Certainly, the money’s there. 

And both have demonstrated they are willing to jump aboard the challenge – Google with its loud proclamations it’s trying hard and Lendlease with its leadership at urban renewable projects such as Barangaroo in Sydney.

Set to commence as early as 2021, the Silicon Valley development is expected to run for the next 10 to 15 years and bring a minimum of 15,000 much needed new dwellings to Silicon Valley.

Co housing, retail, hospitality and other associated civic components are slated to be included, with the deal spanning about 1.4 million square metres across three of Google’s landholdings in San Jose, Sunnyvale and Mountain View.

Lendlease’s executive chief of operations, US, Denis Hickey told The Australian that Google would handle the office development in the three precincts, while Lendlease “oversaw the masterplan and handling other aspects including for sale and for rent residential accommodation, retail and hospitality”.

“We’re eager to contribute our world-class approach to creating unique urban communities,” Mr Hickey said in a statement, “and we are focused on delivering outstanding places that redefine how people choose to live, work, connect and contribute to creating an active community.”  

Mr Hickey has signalled his belief that the similarity in the cultures between the two companies should prove promising for an ongoing relationship.

“We see this as a partnership of like-minded and culturally-aligned companies,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald, “that want to create great places for innovation, living and working, in harmony.”

Google’s vice president, real estate and workplace services David Radcliffe said: “Today’s agreement expands on an existing and successful partnership that will help us deliver on two important objectives: our commitment to accelerate the production of residential units in the Bay Area, and our plan to build mixed-use developments.”

This is good news for Australian based construction, property and infrastructure company, which has been experiencing some grief at home due to under performing engineering and services business.

Since the signing of the deal overnight in the US, Lendlease has seen a spike in share value, up 5.6 per cent at the time of publishing.

And the construction of the new residencies is good news for sustainability regardless, as the current housing crisis in Silicon Valley is meaning many of Google’s workers pay exorbitant housing prices and are forced to commute long distances to get to work.

Lendlease is currently completing the construction of Google’s new UK headquarters in London.

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