Google Said to Buy Redwood City Offices for $585 MillionHui-yong Yu and Brian Womack
Google Inc. bought six office buildings northwest of its Silicon Valley headquarters from Starwood Capital Group LLC and Blackstone Group LP in a $585 million deal, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
The properties are part of the Pacific Shores Center office park in Redwood City, California, about 11 miles (18 kilometers) from Google’s main office in Mountain View, said the people, who asked not to be named because the transaction is private. The company said in its quarterly report filed yesterday that it bought land and buildings for $585 million, without details.
The acquisition extends a real estate deal spree as Google, owner of the world’s largest search engine, expands hiring and makes acquisitions. This month, the company signed office-lease agreements for a total commitment of about $1 billion through 2028, according to the filing.
“We expect to continue to hire aggressively for the remainder of 2014,” Google said in the filing. “Acquisitions will also remain an important component of our strategy.”
The company had 55,030 full-time employees as of Sept. 30, up almost 19 percent from a year earlier, the filing shows.
Meghan Casserly, a spokeswoman for Google, declined to comment beyond the filing. Tom Johnson, a spokesman for Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Peter Rose, a spokesman for New York-based Blackstone, declined to comment. The Silicon Valley Business Journal reported this month that Google was close to completing a deal at the site.
The properties Google purchased comprise about 934,200 square feet (86,800 square meters) of Class A office space, as well as a 38,000-square-foot fitness center that includes a gym, pool and spa, according to the people with knowledge of the matter. That’s more than half of the 1.7 million square feet of office space at the complex.
The office building addresses are 1200, 1300, 1600, 1700, 1800, and 1900 Seaport Blvd., the people said.
Pacific Shores Center is a 106-acre (43-hectare) waterfront campus that was developed by San Francisco-based Jay Paul Co. in the early 2000s. It lies about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. The campus, which includes sports fields and a park, is next to restored wetlands that are part of the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge.
Starwood Capital bought Pacific Shores Center in December 2006, near the height of the commercial-property market, from its developer and Walton Street Capital LLC, and immediately resold two of the buildings. Starwood Capital paid about $833 million in the deal, its first office acquisition in the San Francisco Bay area.
Blackstone in 2011 bought an $80 million junior loan on the office complex at a discount in an effort to gain ownership if Starwood Capital defaulted, two people with knowledge of the purchase said at the time. Blackstone then gained an equity stake in the properties sold to Google through a loan restructuring.
Blackstone, through its Equity Office unit, has major office holdings in Northern California and is the second-largest U.S. office landlord, after Brookfield Property Partners LP.
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