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Exclusive: FivePoint executive and former Oakland planning director joins Google – San Francisco Business Times

Rachel Flynn, a vice president of megaproject developer Five Point Holdings, is leaving to join a tech giant with massive real estate projects of its own: Google Inc.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), has sprawling expansion plans that include both office and housing. It has approval for almost 10,000 new housing units at Mountain View’s North Bayshore.

The company has also been buying numerous parcels in Sunnyvale and San Jose for more office development, including up to 8 million square feet in Diridon Station.

Flynn was previously Oakland’s planning and building director for three years before joining Five Point in 2016.

Flynn also served as planning director of Richmond, and Lynchburg, Va. and worked as an architect.

“We are tremendously sorry to see Rachel leave FivePoint. She did great work here, and we’ve been transitioning her off a Concord Reuse project that is in great shape,” said Kofi Bonner, regional president of Northern California, in a statement.

“I will say that it certainly demonstrates a new trend within our industry that my competition for staff is now from technology companies. More and more tech companies are looking to be their own developers, and that’s making the search for talent much harder,” said Bonner.

Flynn didn’t respond to requests for comment.

"We’re tremendously excited to have Rachel join us at Google as Director of Design Management, Urban Planning, and Entitlements. Her wealth of experience and deep understanding of the nuances surrounding Bay Area development make her an invaluable addition to the team," said Joe Van Belleghem, Google senior director of development, in a statement.

Last year, Google hired Van Belleghem, a real estate veteran who also previously worked at a development company, Lendlease Group (ASX: LLC).

Flynn had been leading the $6 billion Concord Naval Base redevelopment, which proposes up to 12,000 units of housing and 6 million square feet of office space. Five Point (NYSE: FPH) is managing the project for Lennar (NYSE: LEN), which Five Point spun out of. The project is expected to take decades to complete.

Five Point’s other Bay Area projects have experienced recent setbacks, including the suspension of a 635,000-square-foot mall at Candlestick Point and the reports of faked soil testing at the Hunters Point Shipyard.

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