From the Desk of Randy Smith

Construction to boom in Northern CA creating new jobs, constant work for BAC trades

Just a few short years ago the words like Apple, Google, Facebook, and so on were not even a part of our vocabulary, but as the tech industry in Silicon Valley has exploded, these are now words that we use many times daily.

Apple, the world’s most profitable company has a huge, and ever growing, presence in our area with the original Apple facilities in Cupertino and now the Apple II Campus growing every day. The Apple II Campus is slated for completion by end of 2017. This project started in 2013, and covers over 175 acres and showcases nearly every BAC trade’s work.  The huge spaceship shaped facility is 2.8 million square feet including offices, research and development spaces, restaurants, auditorium, theatre, wellness center, transit facility and private areas for employees.  The incredible parking structures provide spaces for 11,000 vehicles.  The energy supply is generated from solar panels on the roof of the structure generating 17 megawatts of power-the biggest solar roof in the world.  This project has provided work for BAC 3 members doing CMU’s, pavers, marble, stone, tile, terrazzo, caulking and patching.  Apple spared no cost in the use of elaborate design and construction materials to create this state-of-the-art home to their ever-growing technology empire.

Google, the world’s most popular search engine, housed in facilities in Mountain View is now making plans for a huge development just west of downtown San Jose.  San Jose City Council has agreed to negotiate the sale of land to Google for this project.  The plan that is separate from the existing and new Mountain View facilities is designed to turn the area near Cal Train’s Diridon Station into a massive transit hub, complete with Google Village and potentially 20,000 added jobs. If the project is given approval, the tech giant will build six to eight million square feet of office space and up to 3,000 units of housing.  The City, already an Amtrak and Caltrain hub, also has plans for the High Speed Rail Line and BART Trains.  Google and it’s partners have been buying property all over the area for months; two associated partnership groups have spent over $130 million on real estate in the area.  The project is in land accusation stage and Google is pursuing the venture with San Jose governing bodies in full support.  As with most of Google’s other construction, it is highly likely that they will also use state-of-the-art materials and that all of the work with be done by Union trades.

Facebook moved into their 430,000 square foot facilities in Menlo Park nearly two years ago and is already in need of additional space and making plans for a new facility.  The social media giant is ready to expand again and this time will be building much more than just office space for it’s workers.  Facebook plans to build what it will call it’s “Willow Campus”, a mixed-use village.  The new campus which will be right behind Facebook’s existing headquarters in Menlo Park on a site that they acquired in 2015, and will include 1,500 rental housing units, 125,000 square feet of retail space and 1.75 million square feet of office space. Like other tech companies in the area, Facebook has been Union loyal, so this project is likely to provide jobs for many of our members as well.

The Bay Area region has a long history of allowing tech companies to grow.  With the growth of tech giants, comes the need for ancillary construction such as more residential, retail and transportation to match the needs of their workers.  This brings with it the expansion of all areas of construction and the on-going need for skilled labor.