Google plans a major expansion of New York City

Google is preparing an expansion of its property in New York City that could add more space to more than 12,000 new workers, nearly double the current staff of the research giant in the city, according to people who are familiar with the question.

The plan, which was not disclosed previously, would give Google space for around 20,000 employees in the city, including those it has now, rivaling around 25,000 jobs

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it is planned to add if it completes plans for a major new office in New York.

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GOOGL -1.23%

The unit is close to an agreement to purchase or lease a 1.3 million square foot office building at St. John's Terminal in the city's West Village neighborhood, said that people are familiar with the discussions. The building, designed to be completed by 2022, would have given Google space for over 8,500 employees, based on the industry standard of 150 square feet per employee.

In addition, Google plans to expand its existing property to the Chelsea Market of approximately 300,000 square feet, according to people informed on such plans. Taken with plans announced for 250,000 square feet of office space at Pier 57, this space is sufficient for more than 3,500 workers.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on any discussion of the ownership of St. John's Terminal. He said Google intends to expand Pier 57 to include a community space, a winter garden and a water taxi landing open to the public. The company announced in March that it had purchased the Manhattan Chelsea Market for $ 2.4 billion, but agreed to maintain the space for leasing in the building to food and retail tenants.

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The planned New York City real estate portfolio *

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The owner of the St. John's Terminal, Oxford Properties Group, a subsidiary of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, declined to comment.

The expansion is the last sign of the rapid invasion of great technology in cities beyond the traditional industrial centers of the west coast. Amazon, Google, Apple Inc. and others are competing to build offices outside of Seattle and Silicon Valley, in places where real estate and talent are cheaper and where city officials are sometimes willing to make deals to win an important employer with great potential for growth.

The search for a second Amazon headquarters opposed hundreds of North American cities against each other in a high-profile battle for an agreement that promised to bring 50,000 employees and over $ 5 billion in investments in the new headquarters in almost 20 years. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon plans to divide the second headquarter uniformly between two locations rather than choosing a city, halving the potential number of jobs in each city.

New York is one of the few finalists taken into consideration by Amazon, along with Dallas and Crystal City in northern Virginia. Amazon is negotiating to place a place in Long Island City, Queens, according to people who are familiar with the matter, even if it has not been decided.

Google, by contrast, has constantly expanded its eastern coast outpost with relatively little fanfare. The company, which opened its first New York office in 2000, moved into the mammoth 111 Eighth Avenue building. in 2006. That property, which Google purchased for $ 1.9 billion in 2010, remained its main office in the city while it gathered office buildings near the Chelsea Market on 10th Avenue, and at Pier 57, a line straight west from the eighth Avenue to the Hudson River.

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The company currently employs just over 7,000 workers in New York, or about 8% of its global staff.

New York could become the next battleground in a budding rivalry between Amazon and Google, which are increasingly competing to be the first place consumers turn to product purchase research.

The potential flooding of new technology jobs in New York is a boon to local officials' efforts to turn the city into a booming economic center. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg promoted the development of a local technology industry, including the $ 2 billion Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, inaugurated last year.

Other politicians have thwarted tax breaks and subsidies to encourage technology affairs in New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo at the beginning of this week said he had put together a strong incentive package to attract Amazon, while Newark and New Jersey proposed $ 7 billion incentives to land in the second giant's headquarters. e-commerce.

Google has stated that it has not applied for subsidies or tax incentives for any of its properties in New York.

The Google website lists more than 240 job offers for New York, including roles in advertising, sales, design, and engineering. Amazon lists more than 600 jobs in the area, from warehouse personnel in its neighbors New Jersey evading centers to researchers and recruiters in New York.

Google has plenty of room to grow inside its 4.7 million square feet of existing space in its New York City buildings, which are partly occupied by other long-term leased companies. When these leases expire, Google moved to empty spaces. Although it is not clear exactly how much space is rented by others, a square footage for many thousands of employees is sufficient, people familiar with the subject have said.

Write to Douglas MacMillan on douglas.macmillan@wsj.com, Eliot Brown on eliot.brown@wsj.com and Peter Grant on peter.grant@wsj.com

Corrections and amplifications
Google's New York offices form a straight west line from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River. An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that the East River was west of Eighth Avenue. (November 7th)

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