Google to buy $2B NYC office building in nod to return of in-person work

Google will purchase a New York City-based office building for $2.1 billion, a signal that it plans to bolster in-person work amid other companies' embrace of remote offices, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 21. 

Google is already leasing the 1.3 million-square-foot office building, a former freight terminal in Manhattan. It said it has an option to buy the office space, which it plans to do in the first quarter of 2022. 

The purchase of the office building is the most expensive sale of a single U.S. office building since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and one of the most expensive in U.S. history, according to data company Real Capital Analytics, the Journal reported. 

Google has been letting employees work at home since spring 2020. Last month, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google-parent company Alphabet, said the company would delay its return to the office until January because of the COVID-19 delta surge. 

Google employs about 12,000 people in New York City, its biggest workforce outside California. The company wants to offer workers the flexibility to work from home or in the office, but the new purchase indicates how important office space is to Google's long-term strategy, William Floyd, Google's director of public policy and government affairs, told the Journal

"We know that our employees, in order to really be happy and productive, need to collaborate," he said. "Because of that need to collaborate, we've been investing more and more in office space."


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