By Jodi Summers
When creating fresh office space, use a fresh approach. Google’s idea for their new space on Main St. Venice, put the user first. For the same reason Google chose one of the most unique building in one of the hippest locations in the country for their office space > 340 Main St., Venice, 90291 > in hopes of luring the best talent. They’ve taken the same approach to their office space in the Binoculars building > make it a user-friendly experience.
Google’s goal (try saying that 5x fast) is to create the healthiest work environments possible so Google masterminds can thrive and innovate. From concept through design, construction and operations, the search engine’s goal is to create a brick + mortar workplace that optimizing access to nature, clean air and daylight. The great thing about is happens to be is what’s good for Google is good for the neighborhood.
Let’s explore how the fabric of Main St. is going to change for a better non-car experience…Thomas Williams, Google’s Venice office director, recently attended a Venice Neighborhood Council meeting and shared the info that about 450 engineers will move into space @ 340 Main Street in early November. He also pledged that the company will have a positive impact on the community.
“Generally, they are fairly young, they like computers, and they are really smart,” Williams shared.
At the same meeting, the VNC approved a motion that is also of interest to Main St. Santa Monica. They approved the “Main Street Diet,” a plan to change the configuration of Main Street by adding bike lanes, reducing traffic lanes and adding a center median. These bike tracks are also being discussed in Santa Monica’s bicycle action plan.
It is expected that approximately one-third of the company’s employees bike, walk or take public transportation to work. “A lot of people are happy because they are going to be able to walk to work now,” Williams said. All 450 of the people who will be relocating to the Venice office currently work in Google’s local offices.
Google is well-known for its support of bike commuters – Venice has a large number of bikers and surprisingly little support for them in the North-South directions. Perhaps now we will develop plans for bike lanes and street lights through the long, dark stretches along Main Street.
WeLoveVenice.com noted that this is a huge potential win for locals. They are hoping that Google will bring more logical bus routes, such as from Washington Blvd. to downtown Santa Monica. As well as other innovative routes from Santa Monica’s Big Blue and Culver City buses that run throughout Venice without it being necessary to walk a mile to Windward Circle to catch one.
Anything to make Main St. more pedestrian friendly is a good thing and a nice step to greening the neighborhood….