Google plans to purchase the St. John’s Terminal on Manhattan’s West Side for $2.1 billion, which will serve as the anchor for the company’s new Hudson Square campus. Even though the company is moving its 12,000 employees toward a more flexible hybrid approach to work, it continues to invest in its offices around the world.
According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, the deal represents the most expensive sale of a single U.S. office building since the COVID-19 pandemic, and is among the most expensive in U.S. history.
The decision to purchase the St. John’s Terminal site at 550 Washington Street builds upon existing plans to invest more than $250 million in the company’s New York campus in 2021. The development also plays a role in meeting Google’s previously announced racial equity commitments, which include continuing to grow its workforce in diverse communities like New York.
“New York’s vitality, creativity and world-class talent are what keep us rooted here,” Alphabet and Google CFO Ruth Porat wrote in a company statement.
“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,” Porat added.
Google, which has been leasing the space since 2018, will close the deal in the first quarter of 2022 and expects to open its new 1.7 million-square-foot Hudson Square campus by mid-2023. It will be Google’s largest office outside California and serve as the New York headquarters for the company’s Global Business Organization, which includes sales and partnership teams.
A former freight facility, St. John’s Terminal is being transformed into a sustainable, adaptable and connected building. Its biophilic design will connect people more closely to nature will add numerous outdoor open spaces and reconnect the Hudson Square neighborhood to the waterfront. The building will also offset 100% of its carbon in support of Google’s ambitious carbon goals.
“This is a massive investment in New York City by Google,” commented Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Today’s announcement shows how we are driving a recovery for all of us. Our economy is going to come back stronger and fairer than ever by creating thousands upon thousands of new tech jobs, supporting small businesses and showing the world the strength of New York City’s diverse, unparalleled workforce.”
Google also expects to complete construction on a project at Pier 57 next year. The space will include office space occupied by Google, a public food hall, community space, galleries, the city’s largest public rooftop space, and educational and environmental programs run by the Hudson River Park Trust, according to Porat.
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