Google spending $2.1 billion to buy St. John’s Terminal in Hudson Square for new campus

Tech giant Google is expanding its footprint in New York in a big way, purchasing the St. John’s Terminal Development for $2.1 billion. 

Google plans on transforming the former freight rail station into a 21st century, 1.7 million square foot campus in the heart of Hudson Square — creating thousands more high-paying tech jobs and boosting the economy of a city working to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“New York’s energy, creativity and world-class talent are what keep us rooted here, and why we’re deepening our commitment with plans to purchase St. John’s Terminal,” said Ruth Porat, chief financial officer for Alphabet and Google. “We look forward to continuing to grow along with this remarkable, diverse city.”

Both Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio lauded the deal as a much-needed shot-in-the-arm for New York’s economy.

“This announcement from Google is yet another proof point that New York’s economy is recovering and rebuilding,” Hochul said. “We are creating jobs, investing in emerging industries, lifting up New Yorkers, and together, we are writing our comeback story.”

“The purchase of St. John’s Terminal will ensure New York remains a global leader in technology as well as a place that people are excited to live and work in,” de Blasio added.

Google is purchasing the St. John’s Terminal development from Oxford Properties, which in recent years has been working to redevelop the two-block site, adjacent to Hudson River Park’s Pier 40, into a 12-story, eco-friendly hub of modern industry. The new campus add more outdoor spaces and reconnects the Hudson Square neighborhood with the Hudson River waterfront.

Rendering of a fourth-floor terrace at the St. John’s Terminal.Rendering courtesy COOKFOX Architects

The building’s standards also meet with Google’s carbon-free goals and LEED building standards.

“When we acquired the St. John’s Terminal site in 2017, we saw an incredible opportunity to rethink the modern workplace and bring that vision to New York,” said Dean Shapiro, head of U.S. developments for Oxford Properties. “From day one of our partnership on the project, it was clear that Oxford and Google’s vision for the future of work were fully aligned. Today showcases our deeply shared commitment to the future of the office, and the great city of New York, as we drive innovation and creativity in the heart of NYC.”

Google’s St. John’s Terminal campus is expected to open in mid-2023. Its development coincides with the ongoing development of Pier 57, where Google will occupy 320,000 square feet of office space upon completion. 

More than 12,000 people currently work in Google’s New York office, which is the largest outside its Silicon Valley headquarters in California. When the St. John’s Terminal and Pier 57 offices are opened, Google’s New York workforce will exceed 14,000, and the tech giant has committed to expanding the number of employees from diverse communities across the city.

Google’s plans for St. John’s Terminal have also garnered the support of local legislators representing SoHo, including Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Assembly Member Deborah Glick and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

Business leaders, including Jessica Walker, president and CEO of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, also hailed the investment.

“Google’s investment in St. John’s Terminal is terrific news for New York and Manhattan businesses in particular,” Walker said. “Not only does it send a powerful signal to the world about New York’s resiliency in the wake of COVID-19, our communities and small businesses benefit by having committed companies like Google in our home city.”

Rendering courtesy COOKFOX Architects