By Nancy Amdur
Google Inc. has gobbled up more property in its seemingly insatiable Bay Area real estate binge. The technology leader recently inked a lease for 1.9 million square feet in Sunnyvale, while also taking a large step into the mid-Peninsula with the purchase of nearly 1 million square feet of office space in Redwood City.[contextly_sidebar id=”2PfVoYgfTXoYX95ZFImlwCGW8WuXeVKr”]The Sunnyvale lease will put Google in developer Jay Paul Co.’s Moffett Place property under construction along the Highway 237 corridor near Highway 101, Google spokeswoman Meghan Casserly confirmed. The first phase of the property, under construction by Sunnyvale-based Level 10, is slated to be complete early next year.
Moffett Place will sit on 55 acres and feature six eight-story buildings along with amenities such as a fitness center, pool and onsite café. Shuttles will run between the property and downtown Sunnyvale and Caltrain, said Phil Mahoney, the executive managing director of Newmark Cornish & Carey in Santa Clara. Mahoney worked on leasing the property but declined to comment further on the transaction details.
This latest Sunnyvale deal broadens Google’s presence in the South Bay city, where it already carries approximately 1.7 million square feet of office space, including nearly 1 million square feet at Jay Paul Co.’s Technology Corners, located at 803-811 11th Ave.
The Redwood City acquisition gives Mountain View-based Google around 934,000 square feet of Class A office space at Pacific Shores Center, Casserly confirmed. The 1.7-million-square-foot office complex, built by San Francisco-based Jay Paul Co. in 2001, sits on a 106-acre waterfront campus at 1700 Seaport Blvd. Amenities at the 11-building campus include a fitness center with a pool and day spa. Google purchased the property from Starwood Capital Group LLC and Blackstone Group LP, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.
Google would not comment further on the transactions, but its third quarter 2014 report filed last week said the company paid $585 million this month for land and office buildings, which likely was for the Pacific Shores acquisition, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.
Redwood City leaders said they have not received official word that Google is moving into Pacific Shores but would look forward to welcoming the company to its business community.
“This helps to solidify our status as the Peninsula hub of Silicon Valley,” said Malcolm Smith, the interim communications manager for the city. “We have other world-class companies here in the field of high tech—we have software developers, startups and incubators. Google, with their recognition of this as a hotbed for high tech, adds to our reputation.”
“It’s a significant purchase,” Mahoney added. “A million square feet in the mid-Peninsula is a very large transaction, and heretofore [Google] hasn’t really been in the mid-Peninsula.”
Google likely will not immediately move into Pacific Shores since it is nearly fully leased. Tenants in the complex include tech firms Rocket Fuel and Sencha.
The office building is located about one mile from the Port of Redwood City. Google last spring tested running a ferry between Redwood City and Alameda and San Francisco, but the company is not currently working on a plan to use the ferry terminal, Casserly said.
These deals reflect Google’s expectations for significant expansion. Google said in its third quarter report that it plans to “hire aggressively” for the remainder of 2014. The company had 55,030 full-time employees at the end of September, a jump of about 8,600 employees from a year earlier.