Google is buying a New York office building for $2.1 billion as it moves towards a more hybrid approach to work in the post-Covid era.
The Alphabet-owned company will purchase the St John’s Terminal in Manhattan, which will serve as the anchor of its new Hudson Square campus, the technology company said on Tuesday.
The announcement builds on Google’s plans to invest more than $250 million this year in its New York presence.
“As Google moves towards a more flexible hybrid approach to work, coming together in person to collaborate and build community will remain an important part of our future,” Ruth Porat, Google's chief financial officer said.
“It is why we continue investing in our offices around the world."
The St John’s Terminal site at 550 Washington Street, which Google currently leases and expects to open by mid-2023, will be the company’s largest office outside California.
The financial transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.
The deal for the new building on Manhattan’s West Side is the most expensive sale of a single US office building since the start of the pandemic and one of the most expensive in the country’s history, according to data firm Real Capital Analytics, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
St John’s Terminal is a former freight centre that is being renovated into a “highly sustainable, adaptable and connected building”. It will offset 100 per cent of its carbon in support of Google’s ambitious environmental goals, the California-based company said.
“It is also an important part of meeting our previously announced racial equity commitments, which include continuing to grow our workforce in diverse communities like New York,” Ms Porat said.
Google has had a presence in New York for more than 20 years and employs about 12,000 people. It is New York’s “vitality, creativity and world-class talent" that keeps the company rooted in the city, Ms Porat said.
Construction is continuing at New York's Pier 57, scheduled to be completed next year. It will include Google’s office space, a public food hall, community space, galleries, the city’s largest public rooftop space and educational and environmental programmes run by the Hudson River Park Trust.
“This [Pier 57] space will provide new opportunities for us to engage with our community neighbours,” Ms Porat said.
“These investments we are making … gives us the capacity to grow our workforce in the city to more than 14,000 employees in the coming years."