Google Mountain View canopy city HQ artists impression

Mountain View is already synonymous with its largest corporate inhabitant: Google. But the city will very soon be home to a lot more Google than it bargained for. Already home of the existing Googleplex and countless other Google-owned buildings, LinkedIn was one of Mountain View’s other high-profile tenants. But that’s about to change.

According to the Silicon Valley Business Journal, Google has inked a real estate trade deal with LinkedIn that will see Google get access to the vast majority of the available 2.4 million square feet of construction space in Mountain View.

Google will get access to the vast majority of the available 2.4 million square feet of construction space in Mountain View.

Google and LinkedIn had battled it out at length for access to the valuable expansion space, but the city council wanted to keep Mountain View diverse and last year awarded the lion’s share to LinkedIn. I guess they never saw a massive trade-off on the horizon.

The new deal will see Google give up several office buildings in Sunnyvale and elsewhere in Mountain View in exchange for two premium pieces of LinkedIn real estate. LinkedIn’s main HQ, just adjacent to the North-East corner of Google’s existing properties and a key development point at the entrance to North Bayshore just at the highway will move into Google’s expansionist hands.

LinkedIn - Mountain View

The additional space – and the construction permits for office space that go with it – will allow Google to forge ahead with its huge canopy campus project. LinkedIn isn’t exactly losing out on the deal though: it will more than double its available floor space practically overnight, bringing its own planned five-to-six year consolidated HQ project within immediate grasp.

As LinkedIn’s Jim Morgensen explained on the failed negotiations last year, “Google was going to have to commit a lot of money to do stuff that was going to benefit LinkedIn,” which, not surprisingly, Google wasn’t exactly keen on. That was until “someone said, Maybe we should swap owned properties…We just looked at it and started talking about it. It gave both of us exactly what our companies need.”

Someone said, maybe we should swap owned properties...We just looked at it and started talking about it. It gave both of us exactly what our companies need.

The back story and details are actually pretty fascinating reading and offer a sneak-peek into the sometimes obscure business dealings of massive companies. Considering the undisclosed-but-astronomical dollar value of the deal, deciding a huge real estate trade to circumvent the wishes of the city and mutually benefit two massive companies with equally large ambitions is interesting enough in itself. Knowing it all went down in the Googleplex cafeteria is even more fascinating.

Would you like to visit the Googleplex? The current one or canopy city?

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