Google to develop new UK headquarters at King’s Cross in one of London’s most significant property transactions of recent years

Posted: Thursday 17th January 2013
  • Google UK Ltd (Google) complete purchase from King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) of 2.4 acres at King’s Cross for 1,000,000 (gross) sq ft new UK headquarters
  • The move is a major boost to the transformation of King’s Cross and is one of the biggest ever commercial acquisitions in the UK. It confirms the importance of King’s Cross as one of the largest development schemes in London
  • The new headquarters will provide a state of the art, flexible working environment for Google staff with the move targeted for 2016
  • The acquisition means that 4.5 million sq ft of the total 8 million sq ft and over 50% of the commercial space at King’s Cross is now completed or committed

Google and KCCLP have reached an agreement that will see Google acquire a 2.4 acre plot at the 67 acre King’s Cross development, in what is considered to be the most significant occupational transaction in London in recent years.

Subject to reserved matters approval being received from Camden Council, construction will start on the new UK headquarters in late 2013.

The building, which ranges in height from 7 to 11 storeys, is scheduled for completion in 2016, enabling Google employees to relocate from current premises in Victoria and Holborn.

The plot (known as Zone A), is located immediately to the north of the new concourse at King’s Cross station and sits to the east of King’s Boulevard and south of the Regent’s Canal (see image attached), in the best connected location in Europe.

Google’s headquarters faces One and Two Pancras Square, two office buildings currently under construction by KCCLP, which will be available for occupation from the end of 2013 and mid 2014 respectively.

Pancras Square itself will also be home to a new office building for Camden Council containing a customer contact centre, public sport and leisure facilities and flexible office space managed by The Office Group.

Architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) have developed high quality, sustainable design concepts for the new Google headquarters that will provide a dynamic and flexible working environment for employees. The building will sit above retail units providing a diverse range of shops, cafes and restaurants.

Commenting on Google’s decision to locate their UK headquarters at King’s Cross, Matt Brittin, Vice President for Northern and Central Europe said:

“This is a big investment by Google, we’re committing further to the UK – where computing and the web were invented. It’s good news for Google, for London and for the UK.”

Commenting on the agreement, Sir David Clementi, Chairman of the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership said:

“We are absolutely delighted that Google will be building their new UK headquarters at King’s Cross. This is fantastic news for London, for Camden and of course for King’s Cross. Google is one of the world’s leading companies, a dynamic, innovative and forward thinking business. It fits perfectly with our vision of King’s Cross as a creative commercial centre for London.

“King’s Cross is now recognised as a superb office location. With One and Two Pancras Square under construction, providing around 200,000 square feet of grade A flexible space, we expect to make further announcements of new lettings at King’s Cross soon.

“I would like to thank the whole team involved in this agreement.”

Delivery of the building will be managed by Argent (King’s Cross) Ltd on behalf of Google and the KCCLP.

David Partridge, Director at Argent (King’s Cross) Ltd said today:

“It is a great privilege to take forward what we believe is London’s largest office requirement in recent years. The team led by Nick Searl have done a brilliant job to get this over the line and are very excited by the opportunity to design and build a world class, sustainable HQ for one of the world’s leading companies.

“This is clearly a major step in delivering our vision for King’s Cross and will provide a catalyst for developing the next phase of this unique 67 acre central London location, which will create around 35,000 jobs and deliver over 1,900 new homes.”

Cllr Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council said today:

‘’This is excellent news for Camden and a great way to start 2013. I’m looking forward to welcoming Google to King’s Cross and to working with them to ensure this investment by a global brand directly delivers local jobs and supports the local economy in Camden.’’

The commercial elements of the King’s Cross development are being brought forward together with new residential properties, to create a new and rapidly evolving place. This investment by Google is a further catalyst for the generation of around 35,000 jobs and the delivery of some 1,900 new homes at King’s Cross.

Simon Allford of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris said today:

“Working with Google is a special opportunity to create an innovative new headquarters of scale and significance that both builds on King Cross’s rich tradition of heroic construction and contributes to the fulfilment of the development’s visionary masterplan. The proposal for a campus within a building that engages with a new, yet historical piece of London is a very exciting one that we look forward to developing further as the project moves through planning and onto site.”

Property advisers were John Forrester of DTZ for KCCLP and Simon Calvert of CBRE for Google UK Ltd. Savills and DTZ act as joint agents for KCCLP. Legal advice was provided by Nabarro for Google UK Ltd and Berwin Leighton Paisner and Hogan Lovells for KCCLP.

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