Google appears close to buying the trophy 111 Eighth Ave. building, one of the largest buildings in Manhattan, The Post has learned.
The price is rumored to be tantalizingly close to $2 billion.
The 18-story Chelsea giant carries 2.9 million square feet of space and covers an entire city block — between Eighth and Ninth avenues from 15th and 16th streets.
At that price, the sale works out to around $690 per square foot, very respectable for 2010 but far less than the $1,500 a square foot that was commonplace in the heady days of 2007.
Looks like one man’s idea of a ridiculous amount of money is another man’s (or company’s) bargain. While the deal is far from closed since Google is only one of many interested parties they have more than a passing interest in the building already since they currently occupy about 550,000 sq ft of the building’s space.
Hey if you like a bit of irony, Google can’t seem to get its own address right for its NYC digs since a Google search places the building in Manhattan on a map but in Brooklyn in the address. Pretty funny actually. Better clean that one up!
Of course, Google can handle this kind of thing pretty easily and having the Google logo on the top of one of the largest buildings in NYC is a nice feather in its cap. In a world where image is just about everything Google’s presence in New York City in a big way makes sense. Does it necessarily mean they are expanding their operation in the city? Who knows but when they own a building like that you have to consider that they are planning something to happen there other than renting it other current tenants like WebMD and Nike.
So why would we talk about this kind of activity here at Marketing Pilgrim? It’s to remind everyone who wants to paint Google as getting complacent and ripe for being knocked off its pedestal that these reports are probably more wishful thinking than reality. Google is getting stronger and they are focusing on things beyond search. Looking at making this kind of statement in the most recognized city on the planet is saying something about the company both now and for the future.
What do you think it is saying?