Approved: Mountain View office project near Google moves forward

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Work will start this summer on 600 National Ave. in Mountain VIew, which will weigh in at about 140,000 square feet of office.

Developers hope to start demolishing a collection of outdated tilt-up structures in Mountain View this summer after receiving final approval to replace them with a 140,000-square-foot, four-story office building.

The project – without a tenant on the leash – could open by early summer of 2015.

The green light for the project at 600 National Ave. represents the culmination of more than a decade of work for developerRandy Lamb and his partners with 600 National Avenue LLC. Mountain View City Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved the project.

“We started back in 2001 having interest in this site,” Randy Lamb, of Menlo Park-based Lamb Partners, told me on Wednesday, adding it was only in the past couple of years he was able to assemble the necessary parcels.

“What we like about it is it’s served by three different freeways, it has great light rail within a half mile, and with the new transportation management agency, we’re really encouraged people will get to the site with as few car trips as possible,” he said.

Located in Mountain View’s East Whisman area, 600 National Avenue will target LEED Gold certification and feature a sleek modern design with lots of natural light, balconies for employees to gather outside and lush landscaping. Floor plates will be about 35,000 square feet, the kind of large footprint so popular with tech tenants these days. A one-story parking structure will also be constructed.

It’s quite a change from what’s there currently, project architect Ken Rodrigues told the council on Tuesday night.

“The beauty is we’re removing some small 1960s structures, and cleaning up and redeveloping the site so we can use it again,” Rodrigues, of Mountain View based Ken Rodrigues & Partners, said.

Propelled by stellar leasing largely from Google, Mountain View’s office market has become among the strongest in the region. While much activity is focused in the Google stronghold North Bayshore area, Google is also moving into the neighborhood of 600 National. In the last year, Google has bought a series of buildings on Ellis St., just down the street from the new project. And it also leases The Quad, a large office campus at 399 N. Whisman Ave. owned by Keenan Lovewell Ventures.

Lamb declined to discuss the status of financing the project, but stated, “We’re definitely going to build it.”

“There’s not much office product there, so I think there will be very positive demand for any new product that comes in,” he said.

Unanimous approval is rare in Mountain View, where new office projects have faced skepticism recently from some council members.

“I think we just followed the process, listened to (the various political bodies) and did what we were asked to do,” Lamb said.

In addition to Lamb, the partnership includes Vic Fracaro, Mark NicholsonJustin Reilly andLowery Pendley. The property is being marketed by Steve HortonGregory M. Davies,Justin Reilly and Dave Schley at Cassidy Turley.

A general contractor has not been finalized, but Lamb estimated construction would take 15 months. He declined to disclose the project cost.

Reconfiguring the Open Office

A look at new trends in corporate interiors

By Jennie Morton –


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Benching systems, collaborative spaces, and glass walls remain hallmarks of the open layout, yet these highly flexible spaces are seeing a rise of new design elements. Stay on top of these trends to keep your open office competitive.

One of the driving factors of open offices is rising real estate costs, with many companies buying or leasing a smaller space while increasing occupancy.

Some individuals may grumble about closer proximity to colleagues, but the expectation that they are chained to a single spot all day has been banished.

“Occupants are being given more areas to work outside of their workstation,” explains Marc Spector, a principal for architectural and design firm Spector Group. “The entire office space is now available to use by everyone.”

“Space utilization has really evolved in recent years and become more strategic,” adds Scott Spector, principal. “It’s integrated into the work culture and creating a better office than we’ve had before.”

Despite smaller desks, the office has become more comfortable for workers. Furniture has a residential feel, color schemes are energetic, and the overall atmosphere is casual. To keep employees engaged, design elements have been borrowed from college campuses, lofts, and coffee shops.

“Spaces are being designed around the concept of ‘take the space you need at the moment you need it to get the job done,’” says Carl Bergauer, director of furniture sales with Business Interiors by Staples. “I may start at a workstation, move to a quiet corner, hop into a collaborative space with coworkers, and head back to a desk – repeating some variation of this throughout my workday. Office interiors must accommodate the constant and rapid change in business processes that take place every day in corporate America.”

To keep pace with technology and generational habits, the open office continues to experiment with new configurations. Consider these four trends in your space:

  1. The Open Executive Office – Companies are moving toward a model of inclusiveness for all workers. Some have eliminated the private corner office in favor of seating managers amid their subordinates, while others are using glass walls to foster transparency. “We’ve also created several executive business gardens for senior leadership,” says Marc Spector. “These function as an open plan that is private yet collaborative for management.”
  2. The Floating Conference Room – Take advantage of how mobile video conference technology is – it no longer needs to be rooted to one room. “Some companies are creating small chat areas for just one or two people,” explains Scott Spector. “These spaces are much more personal and local to the user, as opposed to booking a large conference room for just one person.”
  3. The Café Corner – Food brings people together, and many offices are adding restaurant-like areas or a support kitchen adjacent to conference rooms. Capturing the atmosphere of a bistro or coffee shop, these hot spots are perfect for lunches, extended meetings, and company events. They also double as an enticing workspace for individuals or small groups. “The traditional office kitchen is just a pass through – people grab their coffee or lunch and leave,” notes Marc Spector. “A pantry or bistro, however, serves as a gathering space where people touch down.”
  4. The Benching Alternative – Systems furniture is a fine offering for many organizations, but there are other options to keep in mind. “We’re seeing supper-style tables that are 20- to 30-feet long, which create a cafeteria-like seating. These are ideal for teams working on specific projects,” says Scott Spector. “You can dedicate only 100 square feet per person with this arrangement.”

If your company is planning a renovation, make sure building management has a voice at the table – your department often has the best understanding of potential noise, visual, thermal comfort, and privacy issues.

“A great facility manager must be constantly observing occupancy habits,” says Bergauer. “Know how the space is used and what issues are killing productivity.”

No discussion of open offices is complete without addressing acoustics – it’s one of the most common complaints that FMs hear from occupants. When BUILDINGS readers were asked “What is one thing you would change about your current office layout?” 33% answered acoustics.

“Even with carpet, proper sound attenuation on the walls, and dropped ceilings, open offices still have sound transmission between workstations. It’s not just one voice that can be heard – it’s 30 to 40 people potentially talking at the same time,” explains Marc Spector. “You need to provide some white noise privacy for the whole group. Phone booths or small conference rooms can also cut down on chatter.”

Most workers can tolerate some level of background noise, says Alicia Larsen, an acoustic consultant with the firm Acentech – it’s when there’s not enough speech privacy that they become distracted.

A useful sound metric to keep in mind is the articulation index (AI). This calculation measures how distinctly speech intelligibility stands out from background noise. An AI of 0 would be total privacy and a 1 would be no privacy at all.

“For open offices, normal privacy corresponds to an AI of 0.20 or less, which means approximately 25% of words can be understood,” Larsen explains. “An AI of .05 can achieve confidential privacy – less than 5% of words can be distinguished. This level of isolation is appropriate for private offices and conference rooms.”

One way to improve AI is to increase background sound levels with white noise – for every decibel you increase background noise, you effectively decrease intruding speech by one decibel, says Larsen.

Evaluate sound absorption for the entire space, not just for individuals. Look for wall, partition, door, flooring, and ceiling materials with STC (sound transmission class), CAC (ceiling attenuation class), or NRC (noise reduction coefficient) properties. These building materials can help dampen noise levels and keep your open office at maximum productivity.

These three case studies highlight the variety of open office layouts yet each ensures employee interaction remains at the heart of the design.


Daylight floods the interior of the offices for the architectural firm the Spector Group. The majority of employees are seated in an open floor plan, with a variety of support spaces available for teamwork.

With 13,000 square feet of usable space, the Spector Group’s New York City office balances areas of privacy and collaboration. The interior layout is comprised of an open space that is divided into workstations for 60 professionals. Multiple semi-private and open conference areas foster team engagement.

The second floor provides uninterrupted floor-to-ceiling views, and a 13-foot exposed slab ceiling creates a loft-like yet linear atmosphere. The reception area is defined by a satin sealed exposed concrete floor, which leads the visitor’s eyes into the space and seating area. A linear ceiling light fixture further defines the reception zone.

The main conference room features an acoustically enhanced setting with fabric-wrapped panels and an integrated dropped ceiling with direct LED lighting. Glass fronts are used throughout the office and conference perimeters to facilitate daylighting and street views. Classic modern furniture coupled with benching complements the interior architecture.


Gathering areas are a key focus for the headquarters of Pernod Ricard, a wine and spirits company. Employees are encouraged to mingle in glass conference rooms. Workstations are placed around the perimeter for maximum daylight.

This top-shelf office is home to famous brands such as Absolut Vodka, Malibu, Jameson, and Seagram’s.

Pernod Ricard USA and Pernod Ricard Americas consolidated several locations into this 67,000-square-foot space designed by the Spector Group. Occupying three floors of a historic building on Park Avenue in New York City, the interior features a distillery-like ambiance with reclaimed wood ceilings and concrete corridors.

Individual workstations are placed around the perimeter to maximize daylight and a variety of glass conference rooms accommodate meetings. A bar area serves as an entertainment space and a new glass, metal, and wood communicating stair links two floors to enhance employee interaction.

“The space was a real exercise in open floor plans and gathering areas,” says architect Scott Spector with Spector Group.



No private offices were included in this layout for KMA Architecture. Small nooks provide areas to collaborate in addition to a central conference room. Screens provide visual privacy between workstations.

Situated in a renovated military barracks, this 4,000-square-foot space has a little of everything – conference rooms, casual seating areas, and benching. What’s not present is a single private office.

“This layout enabled the open office model we had been trying to achieve in our former space,” says Rich Guerena, senior associate and project architect for KMA Architecture.

Height-adjustable workstations provide generous space for KMA’s nine employees while screens offer visual privacy. Touchdown areas and drafting tables are placed along a bank of large windows for optimal natural light.

Demountable walls create areas for storage, printing, and teamwork. Even the conference room is subject to the open office concept, with its top walls lower than the ceiling. Carpet tiles help to maintain suitable acoustic levels in the space.

Thermal comfort is aided by operable windows and mechanical ventilation, as a traditional cooling system isn’t needed for this San Diego office. The firm plans to install low velocity ceiling fans in the future.

“Most of us are LEED accredited professionals, so we love being in a historic building that’s repurposed. Being able to have a sustainable space was a big draw for us,” explains Tim Rubesh, principal.

Green Building 101: How does water efficiency impact a building?

101_GreenBuilding-3by Tiffany Coyle-

What is water efficiency?

According to the EPA, “water efficiency is the smart use of our water resources through water-saving technologies and simple steps we can all take around the house. Using water efficiently will help ensure reliable water supplies today and for future generations.”

Why is this important for buildings?

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the United States uses more than 400 billion gallons of water per day. The operation of buildings, including landscaping, accounts for approximately 47 billion gallons per day—12% of total water use.

As residential, commercial, industrial, and other development expands, so does the use of the limited potable water supply, water that is suitable for drinking. Most buildings rely on municipal sources of potable water to meet their needs, from flushing toilets to washing dishes and landscape irrigation. High demand strains supplies and under extreme conditions necessitates water rationing.

Furthermore, large amounts of wastewater can overwhelm treatment facilities, and the untreated overflow can contaminate rivers, lakes, and the water table with bacteria, nitrogen, toxic metals, and other pollutants. To avoid this damage to the ecosystem, additional municipal supply and treatment facilities must be built, at public cost. Water pumping and treatment, both to and away from the project, also require energy, whose production generates additional greenhouse gas emissions.

What are strategies that increase water efficiency?

Green building encourages innovative water-saving strategies that help projects use water wisely. Project teams can follow an integrated process to begin assessing existing water resources, opportunities for reducing water demand, and alternative water supplies. Effective strategies include:

Install efficient plumbing fixtures.
Use non-potable water.
Install submeters.
Choose locally adapted plants.
Use xeriscaping.
Select efficient irrigation technologies.

HP To Cut An Additional 11k to 16k Jobs As Quarterly Revenue Falls

Shares of computer and printer producer Hewlett-Packard HPQ +5.73% took a last-minute dive into negative territory Thursday afternoon after accidentally releasing the first page of its second quarter earnings report a few minutes too early — and not only was the timing of the results unexpected, but so were the company’s sales, which came in under the predictions set forth by Wall Street analysts. And in other less-than-fantastic news, the technology company also said that in an effort to achieve cost savings, it will need to lay off more people than it initially planned.

HP reported $27.3 billion in second quarter revenue, a figure that marks a 1% decline over the revenue reported for the prior-year period and misses the $27.35 billion analyst consensus. Net income came in at $1.27 billion, down from $1.4 billion in the prior-year period and resulting in GAAP earnings of 66 cents per share, up 20% from the 55-cent earnings per share reported this same time in 2013. Excluding special items — like a one-time after tax charge related to the amortization of intangible assets — the company posted earnings of 88 cents per share, a 1% increase over the non-GAAP 87 cents per share from the prior-year period and coming in line with the analyst consensus.

“With the first half of our fiscal year completed, I’m pleased to report that HP’s turnaround remains on track,” HP president and CEO Meg Whitman said in a statement Thursday afternoon. “With each passing quarter, HP is improving its systems, structures and core go-to-market capabilities. We’re gradually shaping HP into a more nimble, lower-cost, more customer- and partner-centric company that can successfully compete across a rapidly changing IT landscape.”

However effective this turnaround is, the effort means that an additional 11,000 to 16,000 positions will be eliminated from the company’s workforce. HP had previously stated that 34,000 positions would be eliminated as a result of a restructuring plan to lower costs and deliver better results, but on Thursday said that as it attempts to reengineer it workforce, it needs to up that number layoffs by the 11,000 to 16,000 range.

Looking ahead to its third fiscal quarter and beyond, HP said it expects third quarter non-GAAP earnings to fall between 86 cents and 90 cents per share and full-year 2014 non-GAAP earnings to fall between $3.63 and $3.75 per share. The company expects to incur a 27-cent per-share charge in the third quarter and a 95-cent per-share charge on a full year basis as a continued effect from the amortization of assets and other restructuring efforts.

Following the release of the earnings results, which were scheduled for after the closing bell but surprised investors and analysts alike and came out while regular trading was still in session, shares of HP immediately took a turn out of positive territory and dived into the red, eventually closing with a 2.3% decline. The drop continued as the after-hours trading session picked up, and shares of HP are currently down more than 1.8% in after-hours trading. Year-to-date, the stock is up 17.6%.

Mountain View office project targeted in referendum challenging growth

A Mountain View citizen’s group may target a major office proposal at the ballot box, the latest sign that the city’s development wave is leading to pushback in some quarters.

The recently formed Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View told city council members this week that it would begin a referendum if the council approved the next phase of Merlone Geier Partners’ Village at San Antonio Center. The phase would include a new hotel, an eight-screen movie theater and 500,000 square feet of office at the center. Merlone Geier has already completed the first phase, which includes 144,000 square feet of retail and 330 luxury apartment units at 645 San Antonio Road.

The project has been in the works for several years, but it’s coming up for a vote this summer as numerous developers have proposed their own office projects amid worsening traffic and ever-rising housing costs.

“This project will aggravate Mountain View’s jobs-housing imbalance by creating workspace for a minimum of 2,000 employees, and probably more, yet providing no housing — in an area suitable for housing,” wrote group leader Lenny Siegel in an email to council members.

Siegel said the council should not approve the project before it ratifies a new “precise plan” that would outline specific land use guidelines for the larger area. The council is slated to weigh in on the project July 1, while a new precise plan is a long-term effort that could take years.

Siegel told me this morning that he’s confident the group would be able to gather the 3,240 valid signatures required to get the issue on a ballot, possibly a special election because there may not be time to qualify for the November ballot. The referendum would basically ask voters to overturn the council’s approval, should it give the Merlone Geyer the green light.

“Our group is very optimistic in this day and age — with all the neighborhoods having their email lists — that we could get a PDF petition out to hundreds of people within 24 hours of the council action,” Siegel said.

Whatever happens will be of major interest to real estate developers and other industry professionals. Mountain View has become one of the most attractive markets for development thanks to the space needs of tech titans like Google Inc., LinkedIn Corp. andIntuit Inc., plus a burgeoning startup scene. But new projects have also started generating complaints of too much traffic and other growing pains.

Siegel said his group is not “anti development,” and in fact would support much more dense housing in the city.

“There’s this development wave happening, and we’re about to adopt a housing element (plan) that will provide — if we’re lucky — 3,000 new housing units by 2023,” he said. “We’ll have that many new jobs by the end of the year.”

The referendum threat carries weight given recent history. Last year, a Palo Alto ballot initiative killed a 60-unit senior apartment complex that the city council had already approved.

Also, in Menlo Park a citizen’s group is also seeking to use the ballot box against new projects in that city’s Downtown and El Camino Real corridor.

Merlone Geier didn’t return an email by the time of this post

Zuckerberg hit with real estate lawsuit related to Palo Alto land grab  

Mark Zuckerberg

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Vicki Thompson

Mark Zuckerberg may be facing some legal challenges related to buying the four houses that surround his own Palo Alto home.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is facing a lawsuit related to his Palo Alto land grabin late 2012 and early 2013, during which he bought four houses adjacent to his own for a collective $43 million, the Mercury News reported.

Developer Mircea Voskerician is suingZuckerberg over breach of contract. He says he held a claim on one of the properties, with plans to tear down an existing house and build a new home on the site. Zuckerberg, Voskerician says, bought the claim to the house for $1.7 million and the house itself from its owner for $4.8 million.

As part of the deal, Voskerician alleges,Zuckerberg was supposed to connect him with wealthy individuals who might be interested in buying his homes. He said that did not happen.

According to the Merc, the lawsuit says: “Zuckerberg stated he did not want construction in his backyard for 14 months and told Voskerician that he would refer him business and make him introductions if, in exchange, Voskerician would help him secure his privacy.”

Zuckerberg‘s attorney told the Merc that the suit was “meritless.”

Read the full report at the San Jose Mercury News’ website.

Stanford Football at Levi’s Stadium? 49ers’ home to host 2014 PAC-12 Conference Championship


The San Francisco 49ers’ new $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium will host the 2014 Pac-12 Conference Championship, opening the door for a Stanford Football game at the Santa Clara venue.
by  –

The San Francisco 49ers are a pro football team, but executives have emphasized over and over that the team’s new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara will host much more than just NFL games to generate maximum returns on the $1.3 billion venue.

This week the Niners added the 2014 PAC-12 Conference Championship to a list of stadium extracurriculars that already includes professional soccer and Wrestlemania (not to mention the 2016 Super Bowl). 49ers Chief Operations Officer Paraag Marathe has also told methat special events ranging from concerts to swimming competitions are still on the table.

The PAC-12 title game will be played Friday Dec. 5, but kickoff time is yet to be determined — a finicky logistical challenge given major parking and traffic concerns in the stadium area, which is already home to a convention center, several large hotels and corporate tenants like AvayaPalo Alto Networks and Citrix.

Still, Silicon Valley football fans could see a hometown team in the game.

The PAC-12 Conference includes a wide array of West Coast schools, like Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Southern California and colleges in Utah, Arizona, Oregon and Washington. Cal is already slated to play the University of Oregon this season in what will be the first college football game at the stadium.

Click here to take a photo tour of the 68,500-seat stadium slated to open this August.


By Lauren Boston –

Units Magazine Cover April 2013

Management companies must look beyond credit scores to get the most accurate picture when screening residents.

There’s more to a credit score than meets the eye. Five percent of consumers had errors on one or more of their three major credit reports, and 25 percent identified errors in their credit file that might affect their credit score, according to a February report by the Federal Trade Commission that was based on an eight-year study of the credit reporting industry. Based on this study, apartment owners may want to think twice about making a leasing decision solely on a prospective resident’s credit information. Doing so could allow as many as one-quarter of perfectly qualified applicants walk out the door while apartments remain vacant.

“Any statistical report is subject to serious flaws when data is inaccurate, incomplete or missing-which can often be the case with credit scores,” says Kevin Wolfgang, President and CEO of New Castle, Del.-based Evergreen Apartment Group. “We have found that factors such as previous rental history, length of employment and disposable income can be more important than a credit score.”

As such, management companies are working with screening companies to build a risk model that includes credit scores, but weights them appropriately.

“Most screening vendors will provide an adaptable risk model with endless options that account for a variety of factors that impact the likelihood of a successful resident,” Wolfgang says. “However, property management companies must use their experience, statistics and general expertise to determine which options are activated, the thresholds for the options and how the options are weighted.”


Toyota, San Francisco 49ers ink Levi’s Stadium deal worth millions

Toyota Plaza

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Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. will get branding rights to a major entrance at the San Francisco 49ers’ new $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium thanks to a new multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal.

by  –

Silicon Valley may be known as the home of Tesla Motors Inc., but it will be Japanese automaker Toyota putting its logos and model cars all over the San Francisco 49ers’ new $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium.

The Northern California Toyota Dealers Association and the 49ers on Tuesday announced a multi-year, multimillion-dollar contract starting in 2014 to make the car company the “exclusive auto partner” of the team and Levi’s Stadium. Neither detailed the final price tag of the deal.

In the context of the new 68,500-person Santa Clara stadium, the sponsorship deal will translate to a hulking “Toyota Plaza” at the Northeast Entrance of the stadium. Toyota will also get to attach its brand to 49ers touchdowns; “Toyota Red Zone” will flash across screens in the tech-heavy stadium anytime the team’s offense makes it past the 20-yard line.

Specific terms of the deal with Toyota were not disclosed. The 49ers have already inked major deals with companies ranging from Yahoo Inc. to PepsiCo to New York investment firm BNY Mellon.

When it comes to the business imperatives for the new Toyota deal, a news release notes that the car company has already cornered about 20 percent of the Northern California auto market.

The joint statement also bills the partnership as an eco-friendly move, since Toyota is well known for its hybrid Prius model and the new 49ers stadium will be LEED certified.

“Toyota has utilized innovative technology to develop groundbreaking sustainable advancements in their industry for years,” said Niners CEO Jed York in the statement.

Local manufacturer of eco-friendly cars, Tesla, could be considered a similarly tech-focused partner for the Niners. While the Palo Alto company run by CEO Elon Musk has not yet dabbled much in pro sports sponsorships — an aversion to sports sponsorships shared with many Silicon Valley tech companies — car racing enthusiasts have been testing out the Model S on major raceways.*

Click here to read much more about the new Levi’s Stadium.

Virgin Hotels considers downtown Mountain View


Virgin Hotels, the hotel brand founded by billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson, could come to Mountain View.

The four-year old hotel company — which has yet to open its first property despite generating intense buzz — is talking to the city about developing a hotel project on city-owned parking lots near the downtown Caltrain station, according to public records. City council members are slated to discuss the proposal during closed session on Tuesday, according to a council agenda.

Much remained sketchy about the project, including its size, what the terms of a deal would look like with the city, and whether Virgin is working with a third-party development partner on the proposal. City and Virgin officials weren’t immediately available to comment.

Branson, the business mogul whose Virgin Group is in everything from a music label to airlines to a space-tourism company, has so far announced three locations for the hotel brand: New York, Chicago and Nashville. Of the three, Chicago is the furthest along, with a targeted opening this fall after being plagued by cost overruns and delays.

The Virgin Hotels website describes the concept as “contemporary style AND great functionality, an efficient yet personalized experience, ample communal space and a signature restaurant.”

Thomas Callahan, co-president and CEO of PKF Consulting USA in San Francisco, said the company’s lack of a track record has slowed the roll out of the brand because potential partners don’t have much on which to assess its prospects.

“That said, it’s got a great story, and there’s a certain cool factor with Virgin,” he said. “It’s always difficult for new companies until you get a few of them up and running.”

Indeed, analysts are still a bit unsure of what to make of the new brand. Alan X. Reay, CEO of Atlas Hospitality in Irvine, called Branson’s Virgin Group “one of the all-time greats when it comes to marketing and branding.” But he added, “when you’re asked to describe a Virgin Hotel, I don’t really know what it is.”

Some more concrete details of the Virgin approach are appearing. Last month, when Virginannounced a new hotel in Nashville, it said the 240-room property in the thick of the city’s Music Row would include “a cutting-edge recording studio.” That suggests Virgin intends to personalize its properties for each market, portending any Mountain View project would be particularly techie.

Callahan and Reay called jobs-heavy Mountain View a very profitable market for new hotels, and hospitality companies have proposed several projects there recently. Shashi Group is seeking to move forward with the first hotel in the city’s North Bayshore jobs district, home toGoogle, LinkedIn and Intuit. The city is also seeking developers for a project on city-owned land that is expected to include a hotel component.

Less clear is how the city’s downtown would fare for an operator like Virgin, they said, though the bustling startup demographic might be a good fit for Virgin.

“Mountain View is a very strong hotel market, and the ones that are there are doing very well,” Callahan said. “For a property like Virgin, I can see why they want to plant their flag on the Peninsula. If the demographics they’re going for are young millennials, it’s not surprising.”

Added Reay: “If they were up and running and had maybe five or six hotels up, I could see that making sense, but it’s still very early on in terms of development.”

While executives from Virgin didn’t return calls, the Mountain View project appears to be at the feasibility-assessment stage.

The city has an economic strategy of ground-leasing some of its land holdings (including two parcels to Google Inc.), and the effort has helped bolster the city’s general fund. Still, the city has not been actively marketing the sites Virgin is apparently interested in — two public parking lots on either side of Hope Street between W. Evelyn Avenue and Villa Street.

Parking is already at a premium in Mountain View, so any project at a minimum would probably have to replace the public lots’ capacity and create enough spaces for itself.

We’ll update this story if we hear back from the folks at Virgin.