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Google expands with downtown Austin

Saltillo lease marks second significant recent expansion for tech giant

Rendering of 7-story glass office building
Google will lease entire new Saltillo tower
Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

Shortly after making waves in Austin when it confirmed that it will rent the new, sail-shaped tower under construction on the downtown lot known as Block 185, Google on Friday announced another major expansion in the city.

In addition to renting all the office space in the new Block 185 building, the tech giant will lease a seven-story building in Saltillo (nee Plaza Saltillo), the mixed-use development under construction just east of I-35.

According to its description on the website of Saltillo developer Endeavor, the new Eastside building measures 150,000 square feet and has 2.9 parking spaces per every 1,000 square feet as well as a ride-sharing drop-off area and access to the Plaza Saltillo MetroRail station. There are electric-car charging stations and showers and changing rooms as well. Local firm Michael Hsu Office of Architecture designed the Saltillo building.

Google currently rents a 29-story tower (the one with the big “G” on it) at 500 West Second Street, another tract of the redevelopment site east of the site of the new downtown building it will occupy. The new building on that block is designed by internationally renowned firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, which also designed Salesforce Tower, now the tallest building in San Francisco. Austin-based STG Design is the local architecture firm on the project.

Curved tower facing lake in downtown Austin skyline
Planned tower for Block 185
Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects / STG Design [Steelblue]

That new Block 185 tower will have 35 stories and 793,883 of office space—enough to accommodate about 5,000 employees. The Saltillo site has room for around 700 employees. Google employs about 1,100 people in the city right now, working on “projects across Android, G Suite, Google Play, Cloud, staffing and recruiting, people operations, finance and marketing,” according to the company.

A Google press release indicated that the company anticipates moving into Phase I of the new downtown building in 2023 and that employees will begin occupying the Saltillo offices at the beginning of 2020.

Google also announced plans for a $600 million data center in Midlothian, Texas, about 25 miles southwest of Dallas. It will be Google’s first data center in Texas.