Google Buys Billion-Dollar Office Space in London

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has bought a colorful office space in London for $1 billion while it waits for building work on its heavily-delayed U.K. headquarters to be completed.

The internet giant announced Friday that it has acquired all of the Central St. Giles building, where it already occupies a number of floors, in London’s West End.

Google plans to refurbish the office over the next few years, Harris said, adding that there will be collaboration spaces, team pods, and covered outdoor working spaces.

The firm employs 6,400 staff in the U.K. and the company has pledged to create enough U.K. office space for 10,000 in the coming years. Its main hub is in the recently gentrified King’s Cross neighborhood on the northern fringe of the city center, where it has snapped up several offices.

However, its new U.K. headquarters, which sits on a plot behind King’s Cross train station, is still under construction. The 11-storey “groundscraper” has been designed by the prestigious Heatherwick Studios and Bjarke Ingels Group. The plans show a 25-metre swimming pool, a 200-metre rooftop running trail, and a large sports hall with views over London. It will accommodate up to 4,000 Googlers when it’s completed.

However, the development is running several years behind schedule. Google was initially hoping to be in the building by 2016, but a series of setbacks have pushed the move-in date back several years. The initial $1.2-billion U.S. plans drawn up by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris were reportedly scrapped by Google cofounder Larry Page for being “too boring.”

Shares in the search engine sprinted $30.64, or 1.1%, Friday to $2,802.32.