Search engine giant Google is considering Ann Arbor as a possible place to build a new 200,000 square foot technology center.
While Steve Langdon, spokesman for Google, would not confirm the rumors, local realtors have said that a real estate broker working on behalf of Google has been searching for potential real estate in the city. The company is also considering building its new center in Boston or Boulder, Colo.
Google’s newest location would employ up to 1,000 new salaried employees and be about as large as the Life Sciences Institute. A local realtor with an Ann Arbor-based realty company has said that leasing a 200,000 sq. ft building would be impossible in the city because of the lack of vacancy in the area, and as a result new construction would be inevitable.
Cities targeted are ones with a large population of recent college graduates between the ages of 22 and 30 and cities must have nearby public transportation and a rich urban atmosphere. Among the factors that must be considered, according to Google’s website, is a 24 hr doughnut shop in close proximity.
While Boston might have more openings in real estate, Larry Page, co-founder of Google, has a strong connection with Ann Arbor — his engineering degree from the University. After graduating the University in 1995, he headed to Stanford University for graduate studies. It was during his time at Stanford that he met co-founder Sergey Brin and together they founded Google in 1998. Google’s headquarters, known as Googleplex, is based in Mountain View, Calif.
A local realtor with an Ann Arbor-based realty company said Google is looking for more space for their project of digitizing the entire 7 million books of the library’s collection. The project would require about 40,000 sq. feet of additional space.
John Wilkin, associate librarian for the University, said that Google has been working with the University on this project since last July and Google hopes to be finish digitizing in roughly six years. However, Google has hinted that it might finish faster than the time given.
“It may be about six years, but it’s entirely possible for them to do it faster. They are trying to figure out the right strategy to do it faster,” Wilkin said.
While Wilkin has no information about whether Google has expressed intent to build its new technology center in the Ann Arbor area, Wilkin personally believes that Google would need to expand in Ann Arbor if it wants order to finish the digitizing project in fewer than six years with their current project of digitizing the library’s collection. Currently Google is digitizing the 2.5 million books of the 7 million the library stores. Google’s net worth is estimated to be 81 billion dollars. The company first offered its initial public offering of stock in mid August of last year at a price of $100.34. Last Friday their shares closed at a price of $280.30.