Google buys London office development for $1bn

Google buys London office development for $1bn
Exterior image of Central St Giles Image credit: Pollitt & Partners 2015

Google has acquired the iconic Central Saint Giles office development in London’s West End, where it is currently a tenant, for $1 billion (£762.5m) from a joint venture between Legal & General and Mitsubishi Estate London.

Google said this investment represents its continued confidence in the office as a place for in-person collaboration and connection.

Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO of Google and Alphabet, said: “We have been privileged to operate in the UK for nearly 20 years, and our purchase of the Central Saint Giles development reflects our continuedcommitment to the country’s growth and success. Our focus remains on creating flexible workspaces that foster innovation, creativity and inclusivity. We look forward to deepening our connection to the UK as we build for the future of work.”

Central Saint Giles is one of London’s more colourful mixed-use developments and one of the largest in the West End. The development, architect Renzo Piano’s first UK project, is formed of three buildings surrounding a central, public piazza.

The architecturally striking building comprises 408,000 sq ft of office space with 25,000 sq ft of restaurants and cafes at ground floor level. The building is highly sustainable, benefiting from an in-use BREEAM Excellent rating.  At the western end of the site, two residential buildings contain a mix of 109 private, affordable and social apartments. The long leasehold interests of the residential buildings continue to be owned and managed by the existing owners.

The buildings have become a landmark in central London with their elevations broken down into 21 different facades in orange, green, red, yellow and grey glazed ceramic tiles. They occupy a pivotal position linking Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, Soho and Fitzrovia and were a focal point for the regeneration of the St Giles area.

Situated adjacent to Tottenham Court Road underground station where the Central line and Northern line intersect, the location offers easy access to the West End, Midtown and City business districts, and also further afield to Berkshire, Essex and South East London once the Elizabeth Line opens.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “This investment in jobs from Google is a big vote of confidence in the UK as a world-leading tech hub. It is also proof that this country continues to be one of the most attractive places in the world for
leading firms to grow their business.”