Silicon Valley Land Deal Signals Unexpected Google Expansion

The recent purchase of a large $160.3 million Sunnyvale office complex seems to be the first sign of plans to expand the company’s California footprint.

by George Avalos, The Mercury News / November 21, 2018

(TNS) — Google has scooped up a big Sunnyvale campus, an unexpected purchase that signals a fresh expansion by the fast-growing search engine giant.

The tech titan bought the Chesapeake Commons office complex, which consists of four buildings that are two stories each, and situated on a site that is ripe for redevelopment with much taller offices.

The Sunnyvale office campus, located near Moffett Park and Caribbean drives, totals roughly 267,000 square feet and could potentially accommodate 1,300 workers.

However, the campus could grow if the buildings were bulldozed and replaced with modern offices. Numerous prime office buildings in the vicinity and along U.S. 101 have much greater densities for each square foot of land they cover.

The sizes and densities of buildings in the area could possibly allow 535,000 square feet of new offices to be built on the site. That could mean 2,500 to 2,700 people could work at a new Google campus were the existing buildings replaced.

Mountain View-based Google paid $160.3 million for the four buildings, Santa Clara County property records show. That works out to roughly $600 a square foot.

The seller, an affiliate of Los Angeles-based Kilroy Realty, paid $100.5 million for the Chesapeake Commons campus in 2015.

Cepheid and Accuray are tenants in the office complex. When Kilroy Realty bought the property, the company indicated that the tenant leases were expected to last until at least sometime in 2019.

Google has been busy buying numerous properties in Sunnyvale’s Moffett Park district, a business area dominated by decades-old buildings that could readily be bulldozed and replaced with much taller and denser structures.

The Chesapeake Commons transaction extends the Google shopping spree in the area.

Since July 2017, Google has spent well over $1 billion to purchase roughly 50 or more properties in the Moffett Park area of Sunnyvale, according to public records, regulatory filings and this news organization’s research.

“The Chesapeake Commons buildings are very nice, they are terraced, very functional and they still have a very useful life,” said Dave Sandlin, an executive vice president with the San Jose office of Colliers International.

Plus these recent acquisitions could just be the vanguard of a new wave of Google purchases in Sunnyvale.

“Google always has a plan for an area, very much like Apple,” Sandlin said. “I speculate that Google is going to be redeveloping a lot of what they have bought in Moffett Park. And they are likely to make more property acquisitions.”

©2018 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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