Google Looking to Buy NYC Building

Google is in talks to buy the building at 111 8th Avenue in New York City for $2 billion, according to reports, a building in which it already rents space.
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(Updated with additional information.)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Internet search powerhouse Google (GOOG) - Get Report may be bulking up its real estate portfolio as it expands its New York presence.

Google is looking to buy the building at 111 8th Avenue in New York City, according to reports, and could pay around $2 billion for the property on the city's West Side.

The 18-story building comprises 2.9 million square feet and takes up an entire city block in the Chelsea neighborhood, just north of the West Village and west of Union Square.

A $2 billion price tag would mean each square foot of space in the building is worth around $690.

Google currently rents 550,000 square feet of space on the western end the building, at 76 9th Avenue. Building co-owner

Taconic Investment Partners

said the building is the second-largest in New York City and originally served as the headquarters for the Port Authority of New York.

Nike

(NKE) - Get Report

and

WebMD

(WBMD)

also rent space in the building.

Google's headquarters are in Mountain View, Calif.

Taconic and co-owner

New York State Common Retirement Fund

have been marking the property through investment advisor

Douglas Harmon of Eastdil

. The building is 98.7% leased and parking is available in the building, the

Post

reported.

It would make sense for Google to buy the former transportation authority's hub because of its numerous back-up generators, electrical power capabilities and high-tech facilities, according to a report in

The New York Post

.

Other interested parties include local families, real-estate investment trusts, overseas entities from Beijing, Singapore, Chile, Argentina and Israel, as well as sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East and Asia, the

Post

report said.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to

@miriamsmarket

.

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