Google is to purchase an office building in New York, as it continues its real estate acquisition spree, despite staff working from home.

The search engine giant confirmed the news in a blog post by Alphabet and Google CFO Ruth Porat, in which she pointed out that New York City has been a home for Google more than 20 years, and it has 12,000 staff based in the city.

During the Coronavirus pandemic Google continued to invest heavily in acquiring offices and real estate, despite empty offices. The firm said earlier this month that its staff will only return to the office on Monday 10th January 2022.

New York Purchase

Google has been ramping up its New York operations in recent years.

In 2018 Google announced plans to spend $1 billion (£790m) on a new presence in New York City.

Then in March this year Google pledged to spend $7 billion on office space and data centres this year across the United States, with $250m set aside for New York City.

In May Google surprised some observers, when it announced it would open a New York retail store in the Chelsea neighbourhood, to physically showcase its hardware products.

And this week Google announced it is not stopping there.

St John’s Terminal Building

It already leases the building in question, which is the St. John’s Terminal building in the Hudson Square neighbourhood of Manhattan, located at 550 Washington Street.

It aims to open the St. John’s Terminal site by mid-2023.

“New York’s vitality, creativity and world-class talent are what keep us rooted here,” blogged Porat. “It is why we’re announcing today that we are deepening our commitment to New York and intend to purchase the St. John’s Terminal in Manhattan for $2.1 billion, which will serve as the anchor of our new Hudson Square campus.”

Google’s Hudson Square campus is 1.7 million-square-foot and will serve as the New York headquarters for Google’s Global Business Organisation, which includes its sales and partnership teams.

“As Google moves toward a more flexible hybrid approach to work, coming together in person to collaborate and build community will remain an important part of our future,” Porat added. “It is why we continue investing in our offices around the world.”

The St. John’s Terminal transaction will close in the first quarter of 2022.

St. John’s Terminal is a former freight facility that is being reimagined into a sustainable, adaptable and connected building.

“These investments we are making in our NYC campus presence will give us the capacity to grow our workforce in the city to more than 14,000 employees in the coming years, and we look forward to continuing to be an active part of New York City’s vibrant community,” concluded Porat.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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