Home Commercial Property Google edges closer to King's Cross and Old Street moves

Google edges closer to King's Cross and Old Street moves

by Deleted Subscriber Content
13th Mar 12 2:18 pm

Global web giant Google could boost London’s bid to become a world-renowned digital hub by moving its headquarters to land behind King’s Cross station.

The search engine has signed an exclusivity deal with developer Argent and it is believed to be preparing a planning application, according to the London Evening Standard.

London-based architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris has been appointed to design 725,000 square feet of office space at the 67-acre site.

The newspaper reported that other locations, such as the Olympics media centre, Canary Wharf and Paddington, had been considered by the company but failed to gather the same level of support among Google’s US-based bosses.

Subject to final approvals being made, Google will move out of its existing London base at 123 Buckingham Palace Road when the lease ends in 2016.

Olly Mann, a London-based internet and gadget journalist, explained that it is easy to see why King’s Cross is an attractive location for a firm like Google.

He said: “King’s Cross is obviously where things are happening increasingly and there are a lot of media hubs around there now as well as improved transport links.”

Andrew Sorene, from central London estate agents Frank Harris and Company, reiterated that the area is proving increasingly popular with businesses.

“They would be joining a range of other organisations who have expressed an interest in the multi-million pound King’s Cross Central development scheme which is helping to transform this part of London,” he said.

Google first began considering moving to the wasteland north of King’s Cross station around a year ago, which surprised many property industry experts due to the scale of the proposals.

Since then, the company has stepped up plans to increase its footprint in the capital by announcing plans for a new centre in east London.

The Old Street building, which will help start-up businesses by hosting training workshops and product demonstrations, will be a massive boost for the government’s plans to create a Silicon Roundabout in the mould of California’s Silicon Valley when it opens later this year.

This centre, coupled with Google’s proposed switch, could make the online giant the perfect beacon to spearhead plans for digital growth in London.

Mann, who has featured on shows such as This Morning on ITV1 and Technology Unplugged on Sky News, believes providing a focal point for UK technology firms will be a massive boost for UK business.

He said: “England as a whole has always been good at technological innovations but we’ve actually lacked a focal point – unlike in California where obviously they’ve had Silicon Valley.

“Any effort to try to hub businesses together can only help cross pollination between the different types of technological industries, which means people making software, hardware and people that are organising information like Google can be in the same place.

“And that can only help British business.”

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