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St. John’s Terminal/ architectural rendering by COOKFOX Architects

NEW YORK CITY—Google is negotiating with the owners of St. John’s Terminal, Oxford Properties Group and a subsidiary of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, to buy or lease a 1.3 million square-foot office building in the development, as first reported in The Wall Street Journal. The publication stated that when completed in 2022 the building would provide Google with enough square footage to house more than 8,500 employees.

The structure is located at 550 Washington St. at the corner of Houston and West streets in the West Village. In October, Oxford had unveiled its renovation plans for the terminal, which had been designed by architects COOKFOX.

A person with knowledge of Google’s latest expansion plans confirmed them with GlobeSt.com, pointing out that the plans are for the south portion of the terminal.

Oxford and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board acquired this south part of the property for $700 million from Westbrook Partners and Atlas Capital Group. As the Google deal is still in the works, it could possibly evolve into a lease with an option to buy. The source noted Westbrook and Atlas still own the north part of the massive complex, where they are developing residential apartments in an approximately 400,000 square-foot area.

Google had purchased Chelsea Market for $2.4 billion in a deal that closed in March of this year. Back in 2008, following the recession, the city had approved adding 300,000 square feet to the building to help support economic recovery. The WSJ noted Google is now planning to add that space to the structure. The internet giant’s New York headquarters are currently across the street at 111 Eighth Ave., a building which it purchased in 2010, paying $1.8 billion.

Google also signed a 15-year lease for 250,000 square feet at Pier 57. The WSJ stated that the added space at Chelsea Market and at the pier would accommodate 3,500 employees. Thus, it estimated Google’s latest planned expansions in total would allow adding 12,000 employees to its New York City workforce.

Betsy Kim

Betsy Kim is the bureau chief, East Coast, and New York City reporter for Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. As a lawyer and journalist, Betsy has worked as the director of editorial and content for LexisNexis Lawyers.com, a TV/multi-media journalist for NBC and CBS affiliated TV stations in the Midwest, and an associate producer at Court TV.

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