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Google has purchased a $2.1 billion office building in New York City to expand its operations there

Google has purchased a building on Manhattan's West Side for $2.1 billion, which will allow the company to significantly increase its office space in the city.

The move comes at a time when the company is transitioning to a hybrid work model in response to the pandemic.

Google said on Tuesday that the new office will serve as a "anchor" for its sprawling city campus, which currently houses the majority of the company's 12,000-strong regional staff. It is expected to open sometime in the middle of 2023.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news first, the transaction is the most expensive sale of a single office building in the United States since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and it ranks among the most expensive ever in the country's history.

It is in New York that Google has established its largest office outside of California, and the company's presence in the city has steadily expanded over the last few years.

This transaction, which involves Google purchasing the former freight transfer facility from which it had previously leased, is part of the tech giant's plan to expand its Hudson Square campus, which has a total floor space of 1.7 million square feet. A Google (GOOG) spokesperson stated that the building will be "reimagined into a highly sustainable, adaptable, and connected structure." In the end, the company will have 14,000 employees in New York City, according to the company.

Although Google has been moving toward a more hybrid work environment, the company stated in a blog post that it is purchasing the building because in-person collaboration is a "important part of our future." Employees at Google will have the option of permanently working from anywhere if their roles allow it starting in 2022, after which they will be required to return to the office.

Despite the fact that the pandemic has forced many people to work from home, technology companies have been expanding their office space. In Bellevue, Washington, Facebook (FB) recently purchased a corporate headquarters building that had previously been unused by outdoor retailer REI. According to Bloomberg, Amazon (AMZN) has also expressed an interest in expanding in New York's Hudson Yards, while Apple (AAPL) has announced major expansion plans in a number of US cities, including San Francisco.

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