Google takes space in Bay Area for start-ups not keen on Silicon Valley

Tech giant takes over 35,000sq ft former printworks in San Francisco’s Mission district

Google is taking over a 35,000sq ft former printworks in San Francisco's trendy Mission district as part of an effort to make it more attractive as it strives to recruit engineers who do not want to work in its vast Silicon Valley headquarters.

The space, which is large enough to hold 200 people, is being earmarked by the search group as a place to house the start-ups it buys, according to several people familiar with the situation.

Howard Quinn, a newspaper and catalogue printer, had been at 298 Alabama Street for 50 years when it went out of business in 2012. The 1920s building is zoned for manufacturing, so it could be used to develop gadgets and devices.

Google paid $3.2 billion for Nest Labs, maker of "smart home" devices, and an undisclosed sum for Bot and Dolly, a San Francisco start-up that provides robotics for filmmakers.


Its latest acquisition is SlickLogin, an Israeli developer of security technology.

The leasing suggests Google might be planning to buy more hardware start-ups as it expands from web search into markets such as robotics and wearable technology. Google declined to comment.

Other Silicon Valley internet companies have expanded their presence in the city in an intense war for tech talent.

– (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014)