Google expands London property empire with $1 billion office purchase

1 week ago

The Central St Giles gathering successful London.

DavorLovincic | iStock Unreleased | Getty Images

Google has bought a colorful bureau abstraction successful London for $1 cardinal portion it waits for gathering enactment connected its heavily-delayed U.K. office to beryllium completed.

The net elephantine announced Friday that it has acquired each of the Central St. Giles building, wherever it already occupies a fig of floors, successful London's West End.

"Our concern successful this striking Renzo Piano-designed improvement represents our continued assurance successful the bureau arsenic a spot for in-person collaboration and connection," said Ronan Harris, vice president and managing manager of Google U.K. and Ireland, successful a blogpost.

Google plans to refurbish the bureau implicit the adjacent fewer years, Harris said, adding that determination volition beryllium collaboration spaces, squad pods, and covered outdoor moving spaces.

The Mountain View-headquartered steadfast employs 6,400 unit successful the U.K. and the institution has pledged to make capable U.K. bureau abstraction for 10,000 successful the coming years. Its main hub is successful the precocious gentrified King's Cross vicinity connected the bluish fringe of the metropolis center, wherever it has snapped up respective offices.

However, its caller U.K. headquarters, which sits connected a crippled down King's Cross bid station, is inactive nether construction. The 11-storey "groundscraper" has been designed by the prestigious Heatherwick Studios and Bjarke Ingels Group. The plans amusement a 25-meter swimming pool, a 200-meter rooftop moving trail, and a ample sports hallway with views implicit London. It volition accommodate up to 4,000 Googlers erstwhile it's completed.

Google's caller London headquarters.


However, the improvement is moving respective years down schedule. Google was initially hoping to beryllium successful the building by 2016, but a bid of setbacks person pushed the move-in day backmost respective years. The initial £1 cardinal ($1.2 billion) plans drawn up by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris were reportedly scrapped by Google cofounder Larry Page for being "too boring."

A root acquainted with the build, who did not privation to beryllium named owed to the delicate quality of the project, told CNBC past April that Google is aiming to beryllium successful by 2023/2024, marking a hold of astir a decade.

Other Google buildings successful the King's Cross vicinity are astatine assorted stages of completion. Google yet expects to employment astir 7,000 radical successful the area.

Elsewhere, the Alphabet-owned DeepMind AI laboratory is besides facing delays connected a caller 11-storey gathering successful the aforesaid area. DeepMind was due to determination into the building — which boasts a library, lecture theater, and a extortion plot — past twelvemonth but operation enactment is yet to finish.

Meanwhile, Apple is acceptable to determination 1,400 unit from aggregate Apple offices astir London into a caller 500,000 quadrate ft space, which volition inhabit six floors of the erstwhile Battersea coal-fired powerfulness presumption (depicted connected the beforehand screen of Pink Floyd's "Animals" album).

The U.K. is 1 of the biggest outposts for U.S. tech giants. MetaTwitter, and Amazon have besides acquired shiny multi-story buildings successful London successful caller years to accommodate their increasing armies.

The coronavirus stalled galore operation projects worldwide and the lavish office of Silicon Valley firms are nary exception. When restrictions tightened successful the U.K., galore operation companies temporarily shut down gathering sites and laid disconnected workers.