Google Lands New Digs from NASA
The Googleplex is getting bigger thanks to a new 40-year lease the search vendor inked with spacey neighbor NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, with whom Google first inked the agreement for this development in 2005.
For a whopping $3.66 million a year in base rent, Google will lease more than 42 acres of land in NASA Research Park at Ames to build 1.2 million square feet of offices and R&D facilities. Check out the area here.
As with many long-term deals, there are provisions for rent escalations and adjustments, so as the life of the lease goes on, Google could easily be paying more than $5 million in a decade or so. There are also provisions for Google and NASA to extend the lease term to a near millennial 90 years.
The first of three construction phases will begin in September 2013. NASA will retain control over the project during its construction phase, approving the design, issuing building permits, conducting inspections and monitoring construction.
What will Google fill with this grand new land? Pretty much the same stuff as at the current Googleplex next door: office and R&D space, as well as company housing and dining, sports, fitness, child care, conference and parking facilities for its employees. One presumes a dog kennel or two will be in the mix, as well as gardens, heated pools and spas.
Google and NASA have been mixing it up for the last few years, working on high-tech research. For example, the Planetary Content project develops software to help scientists publish planetary data via the Internet. This led to high-resolution lunar imagery and maps to the Google Moon program and the "NASA" layer in Google Earth.
Google and NASA created a furor earlier this year when it was reported that the jet Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page use to scoot around the world can be stashed at Moffett Field, an airport run by NASA that is generally closed to private aircraft.
The bill for that is $1.3 million a year. So, between the new land lease and plane, Google is paying NASA around $5 million a year for real estate and parking privileges.
You know what? I can live with that. There are worse things that Google can spend money on than paying for services from the world's most renowned aerospace institute.
No, I don't mean Salesforce.com.