Google now has a posh new address in the heart of New York City. Google is reportedly spending $1.9 billion to buy the former Port Authority building at New York’s 111 Eighth Avenue. The deal for the massive 2.9-million-square-foot property in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood is the biggest for a single building in the U.S. this year.
111 Eighth Avenue was designed by Lusby Simpson and completed in 1932, just one year after the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. In fact, one way to think about 111 Eighth Avenue is like the Empire State Building on its side. It’s worth noting that the Empire State Building has just over 2 million square feet of office space, about 1 million less than 111 Eighth Avenue. The mammoth 111 Eighth Avenue is no ordinary building. It takes about 20 minutes to walk once around the building, which encompasses one of those very long city blocks found on the West Side.
Google occupies about 500,000 square feet in the building and earlier this fall was reported to be a front-runner in the bidding for the property. The company won partly because it knew the building well and was willing to close the deal before the end of the year, according to people familiar with the matter.
The building’s previous owners, a consortium led by Taconic Investment Partners, knew that proximity to the fiber-line would be attractive to companies, so they tricked out the building with something called a network-neutral “Meet-Me” room, which is literally a room filled with networking equipment that allows the tenants to connect with each other and the fiber-line.
Thus, 111 Eighth Avenue has become known as one of the most important so-called telecom carrier hotels on the Eastern seaboard, if not the entire United States. But of course, Google already knew that, which is why it moved into the building in the first place in 2006. It’s also the reason that companies like Verizon, Sprint, Level 3, WebMD, Nike, BarnesandNoble.com and ad agency Deutsch are tenants.
Google did not confirm the purchase price, but it has been widely reported, including by the New York Post, which has been all over this story. The city of New York netted $46 million in transaction taxes on the deal.