Google's Brin does some good

Co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin has been outed as the cash behind a real estate outfit which has been helping small businesses in his local security survive.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Brin built the Passerelle Investment Company which has been buying up downtown property in Los Altos, which is near where he lives.

He has been renting out the stores at below-market rates to stores he thinks that families in the community need. There is a kids’ bookstore, a children’s playspace, and a child-friendly coffee shop, for example.

The outfit has been buying up run down properties, renovated them and attracted new tenants.

However the local mayor, Val Carpenter, says she has mixed feelings about all this. Passerelle is “now the 500-pound gorilla downtown.” While the firm’s moves have “energised” the town, there are those who are worried about supporting such growth because they want the city to keep its old character and aren’t as interested in children-focused businesses.

These include some of the towns senior citizens who don’t particularly care about kids, or the town being successful so long as it is nice and quiet and people stay off their lawns.

Looks like you just can’t please some people.