Family Won't Sell Google Their Rundown Farm

Despite a reported $7M offer
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2016 8:03 AM CST
Family Rejects Reported $7M Google Offer for Rundown Farm
Google wants all of the land near its Googleplex—but one family's not selling.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Smack in the middle of Googleplex, Google's massive campus in Mountain View, Calif., lies a plot of land less than 1 acre in size and holding a crumbling farmstead—a piece of real estate that Google reportedly wants and that the owning family doesn't want to give up, the Guardian reports. Members of the Martinelli family say the farm is a historic remnant of Silicon Valley's agricultural past, as well as of their own, which included harvesting produce on the farm in the '40s. "We don't need the money. Right now it's not for sale," 49-year-old Leonard Martinelli says. The family has reportedly been offered $5 million to $7 million for the property; the Register suggests that could be above market value, and points out two other Mountain View plots of around a half-acre each are on sale for around $2.5 million apiece.

The Martinellis don't live on the property themselves (they’ve made it available to what the Guardian describes as a group of "eclectic renters"), and some are scoffing at the family clinging to this land-oriented legacy. "It's not as if the Golden Era of Mountain View was when it was agricultural," a Mountain View city councilman says. It's an attitude called "unfortunate and not surprising" by a member of the area's preservation council, who notes, "Newcomers have no connection to why we came here except for more jobs. That's it for them." While the youngest members of the Martinelli clan seem most adamant about not selling, Victoria Martinelli, 79, is conflicted, noting that the money could safeguard the grandchildren's financial future. (Google made a huge energy-related announcement earlier this month.)

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