Google pays billions for the former New York freight yard

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Google pays 2.1 billion US dollars for an office building in Manhattan, the equivalent of around 1.8 billion euros. The St. John’s Terminal at 550 Washington Street is an expanded former freight yard. It is likely to be the second most expensive office purchase in Manhattan. The Alphabet subsidiary set the record of 2.4 billion dollars with the acquisition of the Chelsea Market itself in 2018.

Google is already renting the St. John’s Terminal and is now exercising a purchase option. For comparison: Google bought Fitbit for the same price of 2.1 billion dollars. The building is to become the “anchor point” of a Google complex on Hudson Square, which is scheduled to open in 2023. It should offer around 160,000 square meters and CO2-Neutral operated. The data company will invest another $ 250 million this year.

With 12,000 employees, New York City is already the Group’s second-largest office location, and more than 14,000 are expected. Only at the company headquarters in Mountain View, California are more Googlers working. The largest location in Europe is Zurich with more than 4,000 “Zooglers”.

Rembrandt etching

Patron saint John the Baptist was probably executed while Jesus was still alive. In Rembrandt’s etching, a servant can be seen on the right with the tray on which Johannes’ head is to be offered to Salome, the client who can be seen in the background.

(Image: Estate after Harry G. Friedman, 1965 (public domain))

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Alphabet has mostly sent its employees to work from home. In view of the particularly contagious Delta variant of the virus, the group has postponed the return to the offices until October 18. Until then, employees must be vaccinated against COVID19.

For the future, Google is planning “flexible hybrid work”, ie a mixture of home and office work. For collaboration and team building, real get-togethers are an important part, writes Alphabet’s chief financial officer Ruth Porat in a blog post. Therefore, your group continues to invest in office buildings around the world. The Zurich location should also continue to grow. The company will rent another 15,000 square meter office building there from 2023.


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