Google opens full scale New York office

Google Inc. has consolidated 500 of its advertising and engineering staff into a single location in the fashionable former meatpacking district of lower Manhattan, the company confirmed on Monday.

Google is leasing around 300,000 square feet of office space on three floors in a building that takes up a full city block along Ninth Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets, Google spokeswoman Sunny Gettinger said.

The office, which is Manhattan's second largest commercial building, is located along the brick-covered streets of the former meat-packing neighbourhood of New York -- an area now overrun with up-scale bistros, bars and boutique hotels.

New York is home to the web search leader's largest advertising sales office and its second largest engineering team. Monday was the first day all employees moved into the new location, Gettinger said.

The spokeswoman declined to comment on the cost of the lease.

The New York Post reported Monday that the company will pay at least $10 million a year in rent, citing unspecified "real estate industry estimates," and hire hundreds more staff.

Google's New York advertising staff previously worked out of cramped quarters on Broadway near Times Square, ironically on the same block as Yahoo Inc., Google's arch-rival in the online advertising business.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, had nearly 8,000 full-time employees at the end of June, an increase of 17 percent from a year earlier.

(Additional reporting by Eric Auchard in San Francisco)

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