Whenever Google has built a "campus" in a city, property values have not-so-mysteriously risen a few years later. Google pays big salaries, is flush with cash and has the funding to turn any small town into a tech bubble whenever it wants.
That's why the residents of Boulder, Colorado, are so worried about a new Google campus that would increase Google's workforce from 300 to about 1,500.
San Francisco's public fight against wealthy Google employees — and the tech industry at general — mostly stems from the fact that Googlers can "buy out" local business owners. In one case, a Google exec bought out an apartment complex, evicted the residents, and turned it into a giant home.
Suzanne Jones, a member of Boulder's city council, had this to say to the New York Times:
Prices are rising. We are becoming less and less affordable to lower and middle income. We’re also seeing local businesses that have been here for decades being priced out. It puts a finer point on this issue of, where are we headed? Attracting big business is great, on the one hand, but it will be part of that change on the other.
The other main concern that residents have with Google's newest campus is the fact that it's going to be set right smack dab in the middle of town. Historically, Google's lavish campuses have always been built for employees only.
That means that a building the size of a small mall will be closed to any pedestrians. That wastes space that could be used for any small storefronts.
With that said, though, Boulder isn't San Francisco. Maybe Google's driverless cars will make the Boulder streets safer for pedestrians. We can't be sure how this situation will turn out. Wait and see, I suppose.