Google pushes into Palo Alto with big property purchase

Google Inc. has bought almost 15 acres in Palo Alto, picking up a portfolio of seven older industrial properties and a small parcel of bare land off East Meadow Circle in what could be a redevelopment play.

Public records show Google acquired the properties this week from Menlo Park-based California Pacific Commercial Corp., a longtime Valley real estate firm.

The properties are all on East Meadow Circle. Their addresses are 1015, 1020, 1025, 1036, 1040, 1085, and 1086 East Meadow Circle. Those properties, plus a one-acre chunk of bare land on nearby Fabian Way, total about 14.75 acres.

No price was given in the public records that I reviewed. The Registry, which first reported the sale Monday but did not initially disclose the buyer, said the properties traded for $60 million to $70 million.

Rumors of Google’s interest in the offering — a rare opportunity to control a large chunk of land in red-hot Palo Alto — had been buzzing around for weeks. Google didn’t respond to a request for comment on Monday. Also on Monday, California Pacific Commercial did not respond to a request for comment. Brokers with Jones Lang LaSalle, which marketed the property could not immediately be reached.

The property is just across Highway 101 from Google’s stronghold of the North Bayshore area of Mountain View.

The area on East Meadow Circle has been “singled out” for zoning changes to lure newer commercial users, according to Palo Alto Online.

I’m unaware of a Google making a previous purchase in Palo Alto. The company has made a big shift toward owning its office properties in Mountain View in recent years.

The news comes soon on the heels of Google pausing construction on its 1.1-million-square-foot Bayview office campus.

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