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Google is Building a New Boulder Campus

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The Colorado Front Range tech sector got a boost this week when Google broke ground on a new Boulder campus. The 4.3-acre site near 30th and Pearl streets will eventually be home to three roughly 100,000-square-feet buildings. Construction has already begun on Phase 1 of this project, which will have room for 1,000 employees compared to Google's current Boulder head count of 300, and should be complete by 2017.

A press release about the project states that Google will be growing "organically" to fill those first 1,000 seats, and Phase 2 will add room for 500 more employees.

Those new employees should have the option of taking public transit, as the site is near the area being redeveloped for the Boulder Junction transit center.

The three buildings, designed by Denver-based Tryba Architects, with their glass facades look like they wouldn't be too out of place on CU's nearby medical campus. For such a central location, the lack of public street level amenities has been a point of criticism. Forum Real Estate Group is developing the site and will lease the finished buildings to Google.

In true Boulder fashion, the new campus should hit the minimum standards for a gold LEED rating with at least a 31 percent energy savings over the standard set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. The project will also use solar panels to add 140 kilowatts.

Now the only question on residents' minds is what's going to happen when Google adds more than 1,000 new employees. Will "We don't want to be Menlo Park" become Boulder's version of ski towns proclaiming they "don't want to be like Aspen"?

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