Fri, Dec 05, 2014 - Page 15 News List

Google buys large plot of land in Los Angeles expansion

AP, LOS ANGELES

Google Inc is expanding its presence in Los Angeles with the US$120 million purchase of about five hectares of vacant land in the Playa Vista area on the city’s west side.

The parcel is zoned for nearly 84,000m2 of commercial space that could house offices or studios, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

The plot is next to a historic hangar where tycoon Howard Hughes built his famous Spruce Goose airplane. Google was also expected to lease the hangar, which recently housed soundstages for movie and television, according to the newspaper.

Los Angeles City Councillor Mike Bonin, who represents the area, said the purchase “brands Playa Vista as the tech and innovation capital of Los Angeles.”

The Mountain View-based tech giant would not detail its plans for the properties.

Last year Microsoft opened a 1,900m2 space in Playa Vista, a neighborhood near major freeways, and Los Angeles International Airport. Facebook has operations nearby, as do other major media companies and ad agencies.

Three years ago, Google opened a campus in Venice, where it leased 10,000m2 in three buildings for about 600 employees. One of those buildings is the famous Binoculars Building, a three-story office on Main Street designed by architect Frank Gehry.

A Google spokeswoman said the company, which typically likes to expand near its existing properties, will continue to rent the 6,400m2 Binoculars Building. Google views the Playa Vista land purchase as a long-term investment and has no particular design in mind for the site, she told the Times.

Google also rents a 12,500m2 video production facility for subsidiary YouTube in a renovated former Hughes building in Playa Vista.

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