Google has bought a new site for its British headquarters at King Cross Central, a multi-billion pound mixed-use property development located in the heart of London. The deal, reported on by Reuters, is for a site that stretches roughly 2.4 acres in total. The price that Google has paid for the land, however, has not been disclosed.
Google is expected to move from its current headquarters, located in the Victoria area of London, to its new premises once the building (or buildings) is completed in 2016. Reuters has also revealed that the premises itself will be around 1 million square feet.
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The deal shouldn’t come as too big a shock to anyone that’s been following Google’s movements over the last 12 months. A 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.
If the amount of land that Google has bought today has indeed increased to 1 million square feet, the final figure paid by Google could well be even higher.
Google will undoubtedly be the biggest and most high-profile company to move into the redevelopment site behind King’s Cross station, provided the move goes ahead as planned. They will join the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, a branch of the University of the Arts London, as well as BNP Paribas and possibly J Sainsbury, which has also been linked with a deal.
A report by the London Evening Standard last year said that Google would only leave its existing offices, located at 123 Buckingham Palace Road, once its lease runs out in 2016. The firm’s new startup hub over in east London, however, would be left untouched. That same report speculated that Google’s new British headquarters would be a cluster of five buildings, resembling the more open plan, campus aesthetic and atmosphere that has proven so popular over in Silicon Valley.
The move by Google, which has likely occurred either because they’re 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’s also been missing some of the really high-profile names that the wider public know and recognise.
At its new headquarters in King’s Cross Central though, Google could change that image very quickly.
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