Google is taking over San Francisco. The Internet giant recently purchased a 35,000 square foot warehouse in San Francisco’s trendy Mission District, hoping to court engineers who don’t want to work in Silicon Valley.
The massive space, which holds 200 people, will be used to house the startups Google purchases, such as Nest Labs, the maker of “smart home devices” such as thermostats and smoke detectors, which Google paid $3.2 billion to acquire, and SlickLogin, an Israeli developer of security technology and Google’s most recent purchase.
The space had housed Howard Quinn, a newspaper and catalogue printer, for 50 years before it went out of business in 2012. Printing companies like Howard Quinn have been suffering significant losses since the rise of online publishing, a medium Google has helped popularize. The building is zoned for manufacturing, leading many to believe that Google will also use it to house hardware companies that develop numerous gadgets and devices.
Google is joining a long list of tech companies opening up offices in San Francisco, as more employees are expressing interests to live and work in more desirable areas of the city in order to avoid the hour-long commutes to Silicon Valley. Social media companies like Twitter and Pinterest already call the city home.
The influx of tech companies in the city has driven up the prices of commercial and home real estate, and many aren’t happy with the change of scenery. Companies’ commuter buses used to ferry people between the Valley and the city have been under fire from protestors citing Google (and others) are driving up rents, kicking out low-paid workers and changing the culture of San Francisco for the worse.