Google mum on plans for Santa Monica
After announcing it was leasing office space in Venice, Google has declined to comment on its plans for employees in Santa Monica. photo by Brandon Wise.January 29, 2011
DOWNTOWN — When Internet search giant Google, one of Santa Monica’s largest employers, announced this week that it was leasing 100,000 square feet of office space in Venice, business and civic leaders immediately began to wonder what that meant for the city by the sea.There are concerns that Google, which occupies three buildings in Santa Monica, the largest on Arizona Avenue and Sixth Street with over 300 employees, will consolidate operations in Venice and pull out of Santa Monica. If so, that would be a blow to local restaurants and retail, which rely heavily on employees for revenue.
Google has also been a partner in community events and has helped social service agencies. At last year’s Westside Shelter & Hunger Coalition celebration breakfast, Google received the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s Business Cares Award for their help assisting homeless families.
Representatives from Google would not comment on their plans for Santa Monica or give any details on how many employees would be stationed in Venice. A spokesman issued a statement from Thomas Williams, senior director of engineering at Google, who said, “Los Angeles is a world class city with a talented workforce, and we’re thrilled to expand our presence as we enter our biggest hiring year in company history.”
The Mountain View, Calif. company this week announced it would be hiring more than 6,000 workers this year. Real estate sources said Google is moving into three Main Street-area buildings, including the famed Binoculars Building designed by Frank Gehry. Sitting in front of the building is a giant binocular sculpture created by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.Real estate sources speculated the move to Venice is an attempt to consolidate operations in the Southland and create a Los Angeles campus
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