Bay Area journalists team up to investigate Silicon Valley landowners

Renaissance Journalism is excited to assist a powerful collaboration of Bay Area news organizations who are identifying the biggest landlords in the Silicon Valley and whether they are making life better or worse for local communities.

The investigation is the product of a year-long analysis of more than 500,000 property records from the Santa Clara Assessor’s Office and extensive reporting by the partners, which include Reveal, The Mercury News, KQED, NBC Bay Area and Telemundo 48 Área de la Bahia. What the reporters found is that much of the property is owned by a web of corporations and trusts, requiring deeper reporting into thousands of records to reveal the true ownership.

The unprecedented collaborative effort resulted in an in-depth, three-part series called “Who Owns Silicon Valley,” published on Nov. 3, 2019. The series looks at how the largest landowners in Silicon Valley (tech and real estate companies—and Stanford University) have shaped the valley into an economic powerhouse, but have also created and exacerbated the housing crisis now threatening the area.

Stories by the news partners are rolling out stories over several days with KQED sponsoring a public forum Nov. 7 in Mountain View.

Renaissance Journalism has assisted with the public forum as part of our Bay Area Media Collaborative initiative.