Google leases more space at Bakery Square


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A month after showing off its new space in the old Nabisco plant in Larimer, Google Inc. is adding more.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based search company has reached a deal with developer Walnut Capital to lease another 70,000 square feet of space at Bakery Square, a $130 million development.

With the decision, Google will occupy about 115,000 square feet of the 250,000-square-foot building. It now has about 45,000 square feet on two floors.

It plans to occupy some of the space later this year and the rest next year. Officials also have been told that with the expansion, Google may have as many as 500 people working at the site.

The company approached Bakery Square officials late last year about adding more room and had a lease signed by the end of December.

However, it did not divulge the reason for the expansion to Bakery Square officials.

A statement attributed to Google Pittsburgh engineering director Kamal Nigam said: "As we shared during our official office opening in early December, more than 150 engineers at Google Pittsburgh are now settled into roughly 40,000 square feet of space across two floors of Bakery Square. To accommodate future growth, we recently leased two additional floors -- bringing the total to more than 100,000 square feet.

"We're actively hiring and look forward to being part of Pittsburgh's technology community over the months and years ahead."

News of the growth comes a year after Google announced plans to double its Pittsburgh footprint and move offices from Carnegie Mellon University's campus to Bakery Square.

The Google Jobs page -- www.google.com/jobs/ -- lists several Pittsburgh openings in engineering. The Pittsburgh site focuses on product search technology and advertising display.

Todd Reidbord, president of Walnut Capital, said the expansion of Google "further validates the success of the project."

Given the jobs and prestige associated with having Google, it's also a validation of the $10.5 million in public investment made in the Penn Avenue redevelopment, he said.

While Google will be taking up a lot of space in the development, Mr. Reidbord said he had no concerns about a potential lack of business diversity. If anything, Google should help to attract other companies to the area, particularly those involved in software development.

"One thing about Google [officials] is that they create their own market. Others want to be around them. We look at them as an anchor. Diversity will come," he said.

Herky Pollock, a CB Richard Ellis/Pittsburgh executive vice president who markets space at Bakery Square, said the presence of companies and institutions such as Google, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh at Bakery Square has "created a buzz" on the retail side.

"Retailers that we at one time had dreamed of landing as tenants have now taken a strong interest in becoming part of this project," he said, declining to divulge any names.

However, he said the early success of Anthropologie, a clothing, accessory and home store, at Bakery Square led its owner, Urban Outfitters, to add Free People, a trendy women's boutique, which is expected to open next month.


Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262; and Erich Schwartzel: eschwartzel@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1455.


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