It's official: The Mission is over.
In an effort to lure techies who don't want to work in downtown San Francisco or get inside a private bus and head down to Mountain View, Google has plans to either buy or rent space smack dab in the Mission, techie ground zero. The company plans to obtain a 35,000 square foot former printworks at 285 Alabama. The mammoth tech giant wants someplace "cool" for their team.
"When Google is buying companies, they don’t want to work in the big corporate building in San Francisco or Mountain View,” a person in the neighborhood told Financial Times. "So they are acquiring something cool in the Mission where engineers want to work."
The new building, which could house up to 200 employees, is also zoned for manufacturing. VC Post reports:
Hardware firms could utilize the site for gadget and device development since the building which was constructed in the 1920s is zoned for manufacturing. With the leasing of the space, Google could be thinking of acquiring more startups focused on making hardware as it grows from web search and dips its hand into other markets like wearable technology, robotics and the Internet of Things...Google purchased "smart home" devices maker Nest Labs in a $3.2 billion deal. It also acquired San Francisco-based Bot and Dolly, a San Francisco-based firm that gives robotics for filmmakers. Its newest purchase is that of Israeli-based SlickLogin, a startup that develops security technology.
Google already has office space in SoMa and downtown San Francisco. So this is nothing new. It's just another sign of the tech industry's impressive and speedy growth in Baghdad by the Bay. Financial Times goes on to point out that the company also plans to buy space in South Park "to house its Google Ventures team, which has become one of Silicon Valley’s most active early-stage investors."
In the end, this all makes more than enough sense. The Mission, as many of you know, has gone from a once-thriving artistic and Latino community to an Edison bulb-lit artisan food court where budding gastronomes wait in line for food. (It's a now a thing to do on weekends, wait in line for shit.) Rents are out of control, and the attitude is at an all time level of wretchedness. You can almost taste the twee in the air as you cross 18th and Valencia.
UPDATE: SocketSite, of the Elbo Room brouhaha, says that Google has neither signed a lease nor bought the building. "In fact, the building at 298 Alabama is currently undergoing renovations with plans to subdivide the space for multiple tenants. And while numerous parties have expressed interest, not a single lease has been signed nor negotiated, not by Google nor by any of their acquisitions."
Financial Times blunder or Google PR handiwork? Stay tuned.