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Google to expand Pittsburgh operations

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Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, 6:36 p.m.

The Internet search giant Google Inc. said Monday it will become an anchor tenant in a six-story office building planned in the East End's Bakery Square 2.0 development.

“Google has signed a lease for an additional 66,000 square feet at Bakery Square 2.0 to accommodate for natural growth in our Pittsburgh office,” the company said in a statement.

It said local hiring will continue, but declined to offer specifics.

Bakery Square developer Walnut Capital Partners, based in Shadyside, hopes to begin construction on the office building in March. Google will occupy about a third of the building. Work is expected to take 18 to 24 months and cost at least $40 million.

It is part of more than $100 million in planned development in Bakery Square 2.0. Walnut Capital hasn't identified other tenants for the office building.

“This really helps kick off Bakery Square 2.0,” said Gregg Perelman, a principal with Walnut Capital.

Google's expansion on the site of the former Reizenstein Middle School had long been anticipated based on the company's explosive local growth.

Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., has steadily expanded operations since moving into the original Bakery Square development across Penn Avenue in 2010. Google occupies about 140,000 square feet in Bakery Square while employing more than 300 workers.

The new office building will be connected to the existing one by a three-level pedestrian bridge starting four stories above Penn Avenue.

Added Mayor Bill Peduto: “The city is an international hub for Google. The company is attracting clusters of talented people from around the globe and, with that, comes spinoff companies. Today's announcement is great news for Pittsburgh.”

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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