Google pays L&G Mitsubishi JV $1bn for Central St Giles asset

Google has paid $1 billion (£729 million/€873 million) for the Renzo Piano-designed Central Saint Giles office development in London’s West End, which it has acquired from Legal & General Investment Management Real Assets’ 50:50 joint venture with Mitsubishi Estate London.

The tech giant has been a tenant of about 40% of the 40,227 sq m building since 2011. The property comprises 37,904 sq m of office space with 2,322 sq m of ground floor restaurants and cafes. The scheme was conceived as three buildings around a central public piazza.

At the western end of the site there are two residential buildings with 109 private, affordable and social apartments and the L&G/Mitsubishi JV will continue to own and manage the long leasehold interests of these.

Google said in a statement that it will embark on a multi-million pound refurbishment of its offices in the building over the next few years.

“We’ll be introducing new types of collaboration spaces for in-person teamwork, as well as creating more overall space to improve wellbeing. We’ll introduce team pods, which are flexible new space types that can be reconfigured in multiple ways, supporting focused work, collaboration or both, based on team needs,” the company said.

It added that the refurbishment will include outdoor covered working spaces to enable work in the fresh air. The building has strong sustainability credentials and has an in-use BREEAM Excellent rating. 

Google currently has more than 6,400 employees in the UK – last year numbers increased by about 700 – and is building capacity to 10,000 across its UK sites including the new building under construction at King’s Cross.