NEW YORK - Mayor Bill de Blasio is welcoming Google with open arms as the tech giant announced its $2.1 billion purchase of St. John's Terminal on Washington Street in Hudson Square in Lower Manhattan. The company is expanding its already large presence in the city.
"The biggest office building sale in all of the United States of America since the pandemic began," de Blasio said. "The single biggest sale — 1.3 million square feet for technology and innovation."
Google plans on transforming the former freight rail station into a 21st-century campus, creating thousands of more high-paying tech jobs.
Tom Wright, the president and CEO of the nonprofit Regional Plan Association, called this a much-needed boost to the economy in a city that's working tirelessly to recover from the pandemic.
"Bringing people back into their buildings, bringing people back onto the streets, having people shop, ride transit and return to work and life in New York City and seeing Google lead the way on that is really exciting," Wright said, "because it indicates that's where the rest of the economy is going to be going, too."
Torrence Boon, Google's site lead for this new location, said he wants to reassure New Yorkers of the company's commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.
"It's being designed as a highly sustainable and adaptable building that will reconnect Hudson Square to the waterfront," Boone said. "The building will also offset 100% of its carbon and help Google advance its commitment to operate 24/7 carbon-free energy by 2023."
Google already has more than 12,000 New York City employees, which make up its largest workforce outside of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat explained why the company continues to invest in its offices around the world despite the shift to remote work since the onset of the pandemic.
"As Google moves toward a more flexible hybrid approach to work, coming together in person to collaborate and build community will remain an important part of our future," Porat wrote in a blog post. "Our decision to exercise our option to purchase St. John's Terminal further builds upon our existing plans to invest more than $250 million this year in our New York campus presence."
Google, which currently leases the St. John's Terminal site, plans to open the new office in 2023.
With FOX 5 NY Staff.