Over the past year, Google has made a number of large real estate deals to expand its U.S. office presence. The latest last week — involving a $1 billion business park acquisition in Mountain View — is the largest Bay Area purchase of 2018.
As spotted by The Mercury News, Google just before Thanksgiving purchased the Britannia Shoreline Technology Park. The 51.8 acre space is right across and larger than the company’s current Googleplex.
It consists of 12 structures ranging from one to two stories, with Google already the primary tenant of the campus. The buildings are circled by ample and inefficient parking space that developers note is ripe for development.
Google confirmed the $1 billion purchase price from HCP Inc., with the deal now the Bay Area’s largest real estate transaction of 2018. For comparison, the closest deal in value occurred last month for the San Francisco Ferry Building at $291 million.
Instead of continuing to lease the buildings as needed, this acquisition allows Google to better renovate it in the future.
For example, Google in 2015 laid out plans for a radical Mountain View campus across four sites comprised of lightweight, movable structures.
Instead of constructing immoveable concrete buildings, we’ll create lightweight block-like structures which can be moved around easily as we invest in new product areas. (Our self-driving car team, for example, has very different needs when it comes to office space from our Search engineers.) Large translucent canopies will cover each site, controlling the climate inside yet letting in light and air.
This particular plan did not pan out, but the general premise of one tent-like structure is underway between the Googleplex and the just acquired Technology Park. Google Charleston East will be a mixed-use space with public space for shops, restaurants, and recreation.
Other local areas where the company is interested in building mixed-use campuses include north and downtown San Jose, north San Jose, as well as Sunnyvale. Meanwhile, on the other coast, Google bought Chelsea Market for $2.4 billion earlier this year, and is rumored to be acquiring a 12-story office spanning two blocks in New York City.
Google did comment on its future plans involving the newly acquired Shoreline Technology Park.