Googleplex in Mountain View, California and Katerra’s Michael Marks (Credit: Robbie Shade/Flickr, Katerra)

Google is preparing to build a village in its own backyard.

The tech giant is asking a handful of prefab housing startups for proposals to build 10,000 apartments for employees as part of its huge Mountain View Googleplex HQ, according to The Information.

The tech giant has solicited at least eight firms and has met with representatives from Katerra, a Menlo Park-based technology company that handles various aspects of the building process. In January, Katerra raised $865 million from Japan’s SoftBank, which it will use to add factories and fund research and development.

The Google project would be a huge injection of housing to the area, and is necessary if Google wants to expand operations there. Fewer than 5,000 units of housing were built in Santa Clara County between 2003 and 2014, according to The Information, but Google employs 20,000 people there, mostly at its 750,000-square-foot headquarters.

The proposal hints at opportunities beyond the huge Mountain View project. It notes that Google wanted to “form relationships with one or more companies and work collaboratively with these companies on future housing projects,” according to the report. Letters were also sent to Full Stack Modular, Plant Prefab and Factory OS, which is building 300 temporary apartments for Google, also in Mountain View.

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc., has a real estate portfolio worth an estimated $14.5 billion. Around About 30 percent of that is concentrated in New York City, where earlier this month The Real Deal reported Google was in contract to buy the Chelsea Market building for an estimated $2.4 billion. [The Information] — Dennis Lynch


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