If you haven’t heard the rumor by now, you should probably think about getting out more. The word on the street is that Google is going to move into the Fireman’s Fund building on San Marin Drive in Novato. I’ve gone from hearing about it once a month, to once a week and, now, almost daily. So…is it true? The only thing that I am absolutely certain about is that nobody knows.
My apologies to those of you who thought I might have an actual answer (I hate when people do that to me). I will share what I do know, which, unfortunately, isn’t much. In April, the Marin IJ ran an article discussing the move of Fireman’s Fund to Petaluma, which is set to take place in November 2015. In that article, the commercial real estate agent who helped Fireman’s Fund rent out some of the excess space they’ve had at their facility over the last few years was quoted as saying that he’d heard a rumor that Google, Facebook, “and a few other companies from the South Bay are looking at it.” From what I can tell, that statement is all we’ve got so far. From that point, people may have taken that 3rd, 4th or 5th hand account as truth or evidence that it is actually happening, but that seems to be a rather far stretch of the imagination.
Even if Google, or any of these companies, have actually looked at the site, which has yet to be confirmed, that doesn’t mean that it’s a done deal. As those of you who have purchased a home or even rented an apartment know, you have to look at many different possibilities before picking the final location. This could mean that Google is looking at dozens of properties before getting on one knee and proposing to the future Mrs. Google.
The Vice President of my company even called the City of Novato to try to get a possible confirmation or any information at all regarding the rumor, and all they said was, “yeah, we’ve heard that rumor too.” So, everyone in the know is either being very discreet about the facts or nobody really knows, although I think it’s safe to assume the latter.
To add a little fuel to the fire, I was just talking about the rumor with a friend of mine who has a friend who has friend (yup, I just did my friend’s aunt’s dog’s veterinarian said…) but isn’t that fitting with how much speculation has been swirling around this non fact for the last few months? Anyway, this person is somehow involved with employees that may or may not work for Google and she supposedly has asked these people if it’s true and they supposedly confirmed that it was. So, again, take it for what it is…
I’m not saying that it’s not going to happen, just that until Larry Page puts out an official statement declaring Google’s intentions, we should all stay realistic about the lack of information we have.
That being said, if you’ve been on the fence about buying property in Marin or Sonoma County, it’s probably a good idea to stop getting splinters because, if this thing does pop, you might find yourself priced out of your desired market. Novato and Marin won’t be the only places affected by a high-tech mega company moving in. The ripple will reach from Petaluma to Santa Rosa and even Napa County as well. Anyone else out there sufficiently scared yet?
Read my update to this topic here: Update to Google Moving to Marin County: April 2017
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