SAN JOSE — Google is eyeing an affordable housing development that could launch the tech titan’s mixed-use neighborhood that eventually could dramatically reshape a big section of downtown San Jose.

Known as Downtown West, Google’s massive mixed-use neighborhood would add office buildings, housing, shops, restaurants, parks, open spaces, entertainment hubs, cultural loops and hotel rooms to a mile-long area near the Diridon train station and SAP Center.

The affordable housing could sprout on a portion of the old Orchard Supply Hardware store. One of the buildings in that long-shuttered retail center was recently demolished.

Following this year’s demolition of the building at 720 West San Carlos Street, Google is evaluating its affordable housing development options at the site, according to Ryan Lamont, a Google spokesperson.

If a development proposal proceeds at the location, that would mark Google’s first distinct project in the Downtown West neighborhood on the western edges of downtown San Jose.

The precise timeline for the new neighborhood turned murky in February 2023 when Google disclosed that it was “reassessing” how best to move ahead with Downtown West, including the village’s launch date.

The transit-oriented village is expected to be a game-changer for downtown San Jose once it’s built out.

Google is also evaluating any considerations related to the Development Agreement that the tech titan concluded with the city of San Jose, according to the Google spokesperson.

In 2021, the San Jose City Council approved a development agreement with Google that sketched out the general concepts for the new neighborhood, along with associated community developments.

No precise proposals for a specific site or sites within the Downtown West footprint have emerged.

The prospect that an affordable housing development might rise atop part of the old Orchard Supply site emerged after four top San Jose city officials — all members of the city staff and not the mayor or City Council members — met on May 31 with one or more executives with Jamestown LLC, which is Google’s development partner for the Downtown West site.

The Jamestown LLC executive met with San Jose’s planning director, economic development director, housing director and deputy city manager, according to information posted on a San Jose city site that details meetings that city leaders, including politicians, have with lobbyists.

“Advancement of affordable site, potential development agreement amendment” was listed as the topic of the meeting.

If Google decides to proceed with, and gains approval for, an affordable housing development at the West San Carlos Street location, that would provide a hopeful counterpoint to some ominous assessments that arose in the wake of the search giant’s decision to reevaluate the timeline for Downtown West.

Mountain View-based Google has revealed plans to eliminate about 2,500 jobs in the Bay Area as part of the tech company’s wide-ranging cost-cutting. This regional staffing reduction is part of Google layoffs worldwide.

Google is hardly the only tech company that has conducted layoffs in the Bay Area and nationwide. About 200 different tech companies have revealed plans to cut jobs in the Bay Area alone.

Tech titans such as Facebook app owner Meta Platforms, Tesla, Cisco Systems, Broadcom, Salesforce, Intel, Twitter, PayPal, LinkedIn, Amazon, Apple, Lyft, eBay and Lam Research also have filed WARN notices detailing Bay Area job cuts.

The full details of the meetings between Google and the San Jose city top administrators weren’t immediately available.

What is certain is Google’s Downtown West neighborhood is a high-profile project in San Jose. Google expects to employ as many as 20,000 tech workers within the transit village’s footprint.