The transformative effect that the tech-driven region of Northern California known as Silicon Valley has had on the area cannot be overstated. With Silicon Valley Business Journal reporting that the median income in the region has grown to $94,572, putting the area some $30,000 ahead of statewide averages and more than $40,000 higher than the national average, Silicon Valley has become a region for the tech elite.
For many living in the regions making up Silicon Valley, like Mountain View, where Google’s headquarters is located, the sudden transformation has been no small source of consternation. Costs of living have skyrocketed as Facebook, Google, and a number of other big tech companies have started offering big salaries and housing and transport benefits. The average price of a home is now above a million dollars, and the average rent for a decent apartment has reached $2,000 a month. Tech employees are thriving, but as the middle class shrinks, the rest of the region just can’t keep up.
The change is continuing at such a rapid pace that industry insiders estimate that within the next few decades, the region spanning from San Joaquin Valley to Silicon Valley will create a new “Megaregion” that will be made up of corporate housing, research and technology firms, and of course the employees of those firms. In total, the Northern California Megaregion is estimated to be home to 24 million residents, all of whom will be part of an elite class of well-paid, highly educated people working for the promised land of American technology.
Regional Transformation Finds Localities Hiking Development Fees
In addition to concerns over gentrification, many in Northern California worry over who will foot the bill for the development of infrastructure necessary to accommodate the ever-increasing number of companies that call the region home. Mountain View held a city council meeting this week to discuss hiking development fees for tech-related businesses, to help the city stem the hemorrhaging of funds it’s seen as it has tried to provide affordable housing options to those not on the Big Tech payroll. Similar measures are being considered across the areas said to make up the burgeoning Megaregion, but they’re not likely to be anything more than a tourniquet.
Do you think the development of a Megaregion for tech giants, like Google and Facebook, in Northern California is a good thing? Tell us why or why not in the comments below.