Google Street View image of Google's Bay View Campus with Problem Projects: California label

After working since 2013 on property leased from NASA, Google has just wrapped up the development of a brand new campus in Mountain View, California, one that aims to be powered completely by sustainable energy  — but the company’s ambitions haven’t come without hiccups.

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Sherwin Williams Company
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February 2022 saw multiple contractors file construction nonpayment claims, also known as mechanics liens, on the company’s new campus totaling over $5 million — a major roadblock for the project as it comes to the end of its construction.

Four contractors have active claims of nonpayment after providing exterior work on the project:

An additional claim ($784,961 from M&A Painting, Inc.) was filed on February 1, 2022, but the lien was released two days later.

Though the development of the project reportedly cost Google subsidiary Planetary Ventures, LLC more than $200 million, the much smaller amount represented by the claimed liens go a long way in illustrating the power of a mechanics lien, especially when combined with the notable nature of the property owner.

Planetary Ventures originally leased the development’s location — Moffett Federal Airfield — from NASA in 2014, with the agency pushing the importance of creating a sustainable area with the property. The Bay View campus represents a huge long-term investment for the company, as its 2014 lease agreement includes $1.16 billion total over the course of 60 years.

“As NASA expands its presence in space, we are making strides to reduce our footprint here on Earth,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in 2014. “We want to invest taxpayer resources in scientific discovery, technology development and space exploration — not in maintaining infrastructure we no longer need. Moffett Field plays an important role in the Bay Area and is poised to continue to do so through this lease arrangement.”

“[Sustainable building is] happening right here in Mountain View,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, in 2021. “We are building our new campus to the highest sustainable standards…We can unlock geothermal power in a broad range of new places.”

Google is aiming to operate completely carbon-free by 2030, with the success of the Mountain View campus likely to significantly impact this goal — making the resolution of this payment issue an important focus for the company in the short term.

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