As expected, Google has signed a contract to buy the building that houses its New York City offices, in a deal that values the property at close to $1.9 billion. The deal for the massive 2.9-million-square-foot property at 111 Eighth Avenue is the biggest for a single building in the U.S. this year.
While the building is located in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood--and not one of the city's tony office districts--it's popular with tenants like Nike Inc., the Lifetime cable channel and WebMD, the Web publisher. About one-third of its space is occupied by telecommunication companies.
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. While the deal could still fall apart, that is unlikely because the contract is binding and Google has put down a large deposit, these people said.