By Khurram Aziz email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Jan 21, 2013 10:22 AM EST
In one of the biggest commercial property deals in the UK, US technology giant Google is planning to build a $1.6 billion, 24 acre building to house its UK headquarters.
The site will be a disused area around Kings Cross station in London, and the technology giant expects to move into its new home in 2016.
"This is a big investment by Google," Matt Brittin, Google's vice president for Northern and Central Europe, said in the statement to Bloomberg. "We're committing further to the UK - where computing and the web were invented."
Google already has two offices in the Victoria and Holborn districts of London, but all staff will be moved to Kings Cross when the site is ready.
The company has traditionally leased its international offices but more recently has purchased premises in Paris, Dublin, and now London.
Tax campaigner and accountant Richard Murphy told Reuters that the decision to buy property rather than rent was likely "tax motivated."
"If you're not going to send it back to the parent company to repurchase its shares, which is the normal route for a US corporation sitting on a pile of cash, what else are you going to do with it?" said Murphy.
David Clementi, Chairman of the King's Cross Central Limited Partnership, told London24, that Google's decision was fantastic news for the capital and for the 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," said Clementi.
The move forms part of the regeneration of the King's Cross area following the opening of the Eurostar terminal at St Pancras in 2007. The project expects to create 35,000 jobs and more than 1,900 new homes.
Construction of Google's new UK headquarters is expected to begin in late 2013, subject to planning approval.
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