Jamestown Sells 1.2 Million-Square-Foot Chelsea Market in Manhattan to Google for $2.4 Billion

by Camren Skelton

New York City — Jamestown LP has sold Chelsea Market in Manhattan to Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) for $2.4 billion.

Formerly a Nabisco factory in the West Chelsea district, the nearly 1.2 million-square-foot complex features office and retail space, as well as a large food hall on the ground floor that serves more than 500,000 locals and tourists on a monthly basis.

The property occupies an entire city block bounded by Ninth and Tenth avenues between 15th and 16th streets. Jamestown will continue to manage Chelsea Market’s food hall and retail component.

“I don’t think we could think of a more appropriate buyer and better steward for the asset. We’ve been working with Google for 17 years and we’ve watched them grow from 30 people in an office to now being one of the largest tech employers in the city,” says Michael Phillips, president of Jamestown. “It’s a bittersweet day. We’ve spent a lot of time there, and we love all the tenants. We’ll continue to have our offices there, but I think it’s a good time for Google to step in.”

In 2010, Jamestown and its partners sold 111 Eighth Avenue, a roughly 3 million-square-foot office building in Manhattan, to Google for nearly $1.8 billion. Jamestown owned 70 percent of that property, which sits directly across Ninth Avenue from Chelsea Market.

Google has had a presence in New York City for 18 years, growing from a single-person sales office at a Starbucks on 86th Street in 2001. In addition to its office campus on Eighth Avenue, the tech giant is also a tenant at 85 Tenth Avenue, as well as Chelsea Market.

“This purchase further solidifies our commitment to New York, and we believe the Manhattan Chelsea Market will continue to be a great home for us and a vital part of the neighborhood and community,” said David Radcliffe, vice president of real estate and workplace services at Google, in a prepared statement. “We’re proud to be part of a city that’s a cross section of so many industries and cultures. And as we look ahead to the next 18 years and beyond, we’ll continue to invest in our growth and commitment to the city.”

Since its founding in 1983, Jamestown has spearheaded several large-scale adaptive reuse projects, including Chelsea Market, Industry City in Brooklyn, Ponce City Market in Atlanta, the Innovation and Design Building in Boston, Brunswig Square in Los Angeles and the Falchi Building in Queens. The company has headquarters offices in Atlanta and New York City.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has roughly 7,000 employees in New York City alone, representing more than 70 countries and speaking more than 50 languages. A broad range of the company’s engineering, product and business operations groups are represented in its New York offices.

Google’s stock price closed on Monday, March 19 at $1,099 per share, up from $848.40 a year ago, an increase of 29 percent.

— John Nelson

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