Google grows with $1.6 billion in Silicon Valley property deals

Source: MercuryNews.com ~ Hui-yong Yu and Brian Womack

google logoGoogle is accelerating a real estate deal spree, spending $585 million to buy more than half of a Silicon Valley office park and agreeing to lease an entire campus in development to make space for its growing workforce.

The owner of the world’s largest search engine bought six office buildings at Pacific Shores Center in Redwood City rom Starwood Capital Group and Blackstone Group. It also plans to occupy all of Moffett Place, a six-tower development on 55 acres in Sunnyvale, according to Meghan Casserly, a Google spokeswoman.

Google, based in Mountain View, has spent billions on property leases and purchases as it expands hiring and makes acquisitions. The company said in its quarterly report filed Thursday that it signed office leases for a total commitment of about $1 billion through 2028 and bought land and buildings for $585 million, without disclosing details.

“I just can’t point to another major technology company that’s taken down so much real estate in a relatively short period of time,” said Mark Kuiper, senior vice president with Colliers International in San Jose. “Google is a huge employer and they’re putting their stake in the ground and saying Silicon Valley is our home base.

The company had 55,030 full-time employees as of Sept. 30, up almost 19 percent from a year earlier, the filing shows.

Outside of Silicon Valley, Google’s major real estate purchases include New York’s 111 Eighth Ave., a former industrial warehouse that takes up an entire block in the Chelsea neighborhood, which it acquired for $1.8 billion in 2010. In July, the company bought a San Francisco office building and agreed to lease space at a nearby tower.

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