business

Is Google Going to Mess Up Chelsea Market? Doesn't Look Like It

Chelsea Market Photographer: Caitline Ochs/Bloomberg

Rest easy, people of Chelsea. You’ll still be able to nip out of the office at lunchtime for your fresh claw-and-tail-meat roll at the Lobster Place.

Ever since the news of Google’s agreement to buy Chelsea Market -- with its bustling first-floor hodgepodge of restaurants, high-end takeout kitchens and shops -- residents, workers and retailers in the downtown New York City neighborhood have been worried about the fate of those attractions. Now they can relax, according to Google and the building’s seller, Jamestown LP.

The two said Tuesday that Google had completed the purchase of the building, across Ninth Avenue from its Manhattan headquarters, for $2.4 billion and that Jamestown would continue to manage the retail operations. Jamestown, an Atlanta-based real estate investment firm, said in a statement that it and Google have agreed to “work together to ensure a smooth transition with little or no impact to the community and tenants of the building,” words echoed in Google’s own blog post about the purchase. Jamestown has worked with Google on several community projects, such as a computer lab for the Robert Fulton housing project, it said in its statement.

Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., bought its NYC headquarters -- 111 Eighth Ave., a former warehouse occupying a full city block -- from an investment group including Jamestown in 2010. The next year, Jamestown bought out Chelsea Market partners Angelo Gordon, Belvedere Capital and ATC Properties in a deal that valued the building at $793 million, according to data from research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc.

The office space on the upper floors of the 1.2 million-square-foot (110,000-square-meter) Chelsea Market -- a onetime Nabisco cookie factory that draws about 6 million visitors a year, according to the property’s website -- is used by tenants including the Major League Baseball Network and the Food Network. Since purchasing 111 Eighth Ave., Google has sought to expand its presence in Chelsea. It already has about 400,000 square feet in the Chelsea Market building, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

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