The US technology giant is fully charged-up to shell out a significant sum of cash to acquire a 2.4 acre plot of land between King’s Cross and St Pancras stations and plans to build a seven and 11 storey complex that will one day be home to its U.K. headquarters, according to a Reuters report.
The company plans to construct a one-million-square-foot building complex on the plot due to be completed in 2016. The price that Google has paid for the land, however, has not been disclosed. The deal, reported on by Reuters, citing developers involved in the purchase.
Google already has two central London offices – one in Victoria and one on St Giles High Street – from where staff are expected to be relocated. Those offices will be moved to the new facility in 2016, according to Reuters’ sources. The company plans to start construction on the site in late 2013.
Search over … Google has announced plans to relocate its UK headquarters to London’s King’s Cross.
As a matter of fact, the latest move forms part of the regeneration of the King’s Cross area following the opening of the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras in 2007. Organizations that have moved into the area since then include Guardian News & Media, publisher of MediaGuardian, and art college Central St Martin’s.
However, the redeveloped site will eventually contain homes, offices and shops. Besides, Google has traditionally leased its overseas offices but in the past two years, Google’s purchase reflects its property strategy in Dublin, where it bought a building outright for 2,000 staff in 2011, as well as premises in Paris, and now London.
Matt Brittin, Google’s vice president for northern and central Europe, commented that the move is “a big investment by Google. We are committing further to the UK-where computing and the web were invented. It is good news for Google, for London and for the UK.”
In fact, the latest deal should not come as too big a shock to anyone that has been following Google’s movements since the last 12 months. Another report by the Daily Telegraph last October speculated that the company was willing to pay more than $879 million (£550 million) for the new site, although that was based on reports of a 700,000 square foot site uncovered by its sister publication, the Sunday Telegraph.
On the other hand, Google also has Campus, a large space in London’s Shoreditch that offers offices for technology and media start-ups as part of London’s Tech City project.
Simon Allford, director at AHMM, said: “Working with Google is a special opportunity to create an innovative new headquarters of scale and significance that both builds on Kings Cross’s rich tradition of heroic construction and contributes to the fulfillment of the development’s visionary master-plan.”
Last but not lease, the latest move by Google, which has likely occurred either because they are running out of space at their existing offices, or because they plan to significantly expand their operations in the UK, will be seen as a huge boost to London’s image as a technology hub. Although Silicon Roundabout has become somewhat of a flag-bearer for technology startups in the UK, it has also been missing some of the really high-profile names that the wider public know and recognize.