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111 Eighth Avenue-Google
111 Eighth Avenue-Google
111 Eighth Avenue-Google

Google Buys Building in NY for $1.9 Billion

It’s by far the largest U.S. real estate transaction of 2010. The purchase was first reported by the Wall Street Journal in early December, and the rumored price that Google had paid for the property is $1.9 billion.

Google - the web search titan - has acquired one of the largest and most historic buildings in all of the Big Apple. At nearly 3 million square feet, 111 Eighth Avenue, the former Port Authority building, sits like a beached, red-brick cruise ship overlooking New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. 111 Eighth Avenue was designed by Lusby Simpson and completed in 1932, just one year after the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. The building is so big, in fact, that it has elevators large enough to accommodate 18-wheel semi-trucks. There is a helicopter landing pad on the roof. 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. The size is all the more striking because in a densely-packed city like New York, which is full of very tall buildings, it’s rare to find one that is so horizontally gigantic. As it happens, the structure sits almost directly on top of where the Hudson Street/Ninth Avenue fiber highway makes a dog-leg to the right before heading north-east toward the Upper West Side. In New York City, fiber-optic cables travel in large bundles underneath the asphalt. The building’s previous owners were a consortium led by Taconic Investment Partners.

In a blog post Wednesday, Google announced that it has closed the deal and said it has re-upped with Taconic Management Company to continue running the leasing and management operations of the building. 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.

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