When the first Whisman Station residents moved into their newly constructed homes in the planned Mountain View community in 1998, Google was still a fledgling company operating out of a Menlo Park garage. Five years later, the internet company emerged as a tech giant and opened its permanent headquarters 2 miles away from Whisman Station -- establishing the young neighborhood as a prime location for Silicon Valley tech workers.
"A lot of the people I meet around here are Googlers," resident Emily Geiger said.
Geiger, a college student who grew up in Los Altos and attended Mountain View High School, moved to Whisman Station with her family in 2016. Geiger said she has noticed a staggering influx of commuters and transplants from other parts of Silicon Valley coming into Mountain View over the past decade.
"It's made the area so crowded," Geiger said. "Even 10 years ago, we didn't have this much traffic all the time."
Part of Whisman Station's appeal lies in its proximity to public transit. The planned community was part of the city's vision to transform industrial land near Moffett Federal Airfield into a housing and transportation hub. The neighborhood's eponymous Whisman Light Rail Station, located in the center of the neighborhood, offers a convenient solution to residents' traffic-related headaches.
Last November, David and Nicole Miller relocated to the neighborhood from Campbell, citing public-transit accessibility as a reason for the move.
"I look at (the traffic) and I'm like, 'Why on earth are you driving cars?'" Nicole said. "There are so many better options."
David, who previously commuted by car, now enjoys a commute by bike and light rail from his home in Whisman Station to northern San Jose.
"One thing I enjoy so much about the light rail is not actively doing anything," David said. "My brain can go somewhere else."
Nicole and David appreciate the way the neighborhood is insulated from hectic urban life, yet close to nearby shopping and dining destinations in downtown Mountain View.
"This is a comfortable and engaging place to be," David said. "There's plenty of stuff within walking distance, but we're not right on top of Castro Street."
Whisman Station's welcoming atmosphere stands out to Nicole. She described the neighborhood as very diverse -- a vibrant community with an even mix of young families and empty nesters.
"I walk (my dog) every afternoon," Nicole said. "Everyone is really friendly. I'm from the South. I wasn't expecting people in California to be friendly."
David and Nicole often take their dog to Chetwood Park for the daily neighborhood "dog party," where a handful of residents gather every afternoon with camp chairs and a shade umbrella to chat and relax while their dogs play in the park.
"We're feeling pretty welcomed," David said. "You're here, you've got dogs, you wanna play... go for it."
Bounded by Whisman Road, Central Expressway and Highway 237, the 53-acre subdivision boasts tree-lined streets, manicured picnic areas, tot lots, community pools and two acres of public parks. Google is a short bike ride away via the Stevens Creek Trail. Residents enjoy easy access to downtown Mountain View, which is one light rail stop from Whisman Station, or a 20-minute walk by way of Evelyn Avenue. Nearby is the former Slater Elementary School on Whisman Avenue, where Google operates a private day care for its employees' children. The Slater campus is expected to reopen as a public elementary school in late 2019.
"I think it's one of the greatest neighborhoods in the city," resident Cathy Loudon said. "People want to buy these homes."
Loudon, who bought a townhome in Whisman Station when the development first opened, said she has always appreciated the mid-density character of the neighborhood -- a mix of condos, town homes and detached single-family homes.
"There's a handful of original owners left," Loudon said. "I want to make sure that we preserve the quality of the neighborhood."
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Kiddie Academy, 205 E. Middlefield Road; Building Kidz, 250 E. Dana St.; German International School of Silicon Valley, 310 Easy St.; Yew Chung International School, 310 Easy St.
FIRE STATION: No. 4, 229 N. Whisman Road.
LOCATION: Central Expressway, Ferguson Drive, streets off Kent Drive, Snyder Lane, N. Whisman Road.
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION: Whisman Station HOA, Brian Emery, manager, community management services, 408-559-1977, [email protected]
PARKS: Magnolia Park, Magnolia Lane and Whisman Park Drive; Chetwood Park, Chetwood Drive and Whisman Station Drive; Light Rail Trail, from station to Middlefield Road; three mini parks, two tot lots, four swimming pools, three clubhouses.
POST OFFICE: Mountain View, 211 Hope St.
PRIVATE SCHOOLS: German International School of Silicon Valley, 310 Easy St.; Yew Chung International School, 310 Easy St.; St. Stephen Lutheran School, 320 Moorpark Way.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mountain View-Whisman School District Landels Elementary School, Crittenden Middle School; Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District, Mountain View High School.
SHOPPING: El Camino Real, Downtown Mountain View.