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Google is preparing for a major expansion of its Canadian engineering headquarters on Breithaupt Street in Kitchener

The current Google office has 185,000-square-feet of space. It will retain all of that and add 300,000-square-feet by expanding into the new building that will be constructed on the parking lot across the street, 

The Record has learned the deal will be announced later this week. Neither Google nor the owners of the building—Perimeter Development and Allied REIT—would comment.

Google came to this area in 2006 when it acquired a small startup in the David Johnston Research and Technology Park that had four employees.

That increased to 400 by the time Google held the official opening for its offices at 51 Breithaupt St. in January 2016.

It has continued a slow and steady expansion, becoming very important to the tech sector in this region, said Iain Klugman, the chief executive officer at Communitech.

"When Google came to town it sent a very strong signal about the importance and legitimacy of this ecosystem," said Klugman.

Google provides great jobs for university grads, attracts top talent to this region and has a policy of not poaching talent from startups here, Klugman added.

The internet giant supports Communitech, startups, researchers at the University of Waterloo, efforts to diversify the tech workforce and runs community outreach programs for high school students, said Klugman.

"They have been really good partners."

Sarah Marsh, the city councillor who represents the neighbourhood, said the main floor of the new office building should include businesses that anyone can use, such as a coffee shop, café, restaurant or personal services.

 

"We know that any Google office is going to be beautifully constructed, it is going to look great, as the first phase does," said Marsh.

While it is exciting to have a world-famous company in the area, Google's building is locked tight because of the white-hot competition in the technology sector — there is no interaction with the surrounding streets and neighbours.

The people in the neighbourhood want to participate in designing the parkette that will be located near the new building, and have access to restaurants or shops on the main floor, said Marsh.

"That's what creates vibrancy," she said.

Google moved into 51 Breithaupt St. in 2016. The building is more than 117 years old, and was started as a rubber factory. Later, it was used to manufacture car parts.

Google transformed the interior for its employees, creating beautiful rest areas, kitchenettes loaded with healthy snacks and coffee machines, a cafeteria-style restaurant on the main floor and a gym with a climbing wall.

When Google officially opened the offices in March 2017 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was the guest of honour.

 

tpender@therecord.com

Twitter: @PenderRecord

tpender@therecord.com

Twitter: @PenderRecord

Terry Pender

by Terry Pender

Terry Pender covers business and can be reached via Twitter @PenderRecord.

Email: tpender@therecord.com Facebook Twitter
Article Last Updated 25.06.2019

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