Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has leased a massive building in San Francisco’s Mission District to house engineers who came with the company’s recent acquisitions, according to a new report from the Financial Times.
The 35,000-square-foot building is located at the corner of Alabama Street and 16th Street. It was the former office of a newspaper and catalogue printer, Howard Quinn, and is big enough to accommodate 200 people. Google's move into the large space indicates that the company could be planning to buy more start-ups as the search engine giant expands its services from web search to other market segments, such as robotics and wearable technology, the Times reported.
“When Google is buying companies, they don’t want to work in the big corporate building in San Francisco or Mountain View,” a source in the neighborhood told FT. “So they are acquiring something cool in the Mission where engineers want to work.”
Over the past one year, Google has bought many companies, with the buyout of SlickLogin, an Israel-based security start-up that uses sound waves to verify a user’s identity on websites, being its most recent acquisition. In January, Google bought Nest Labs -- a maker of “smart home” devices including a thermostat and smoke alarm -- for $3.2 billion. The company also acquired Bot and Dolly, a San Francisco start-up that provides robotics for filmmakers, for an undisclosed amount. In December, Google confirmed the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, which makes nature-inspired robots.
Google joins a growing flow of technology companies from the Valley, such as Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), Yammer, Pinterest and Square, in expanding its presence in San Francisco.
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And, while the city’s mayor has welcomed the companies, many residents have protested the expansion of such companies in the city as the influx has brought in highly-paid technology sector employees, which has in turn, driven up commercial rents and home prices.