Google Inc. was reported today to be making a bold move to expand in Southern California, having spent nearly $120 million on 12 vacant acres next to a historic hangar where aviator Howard Hughes built his famous “Spruce Goose” airplane in a Playa Vista neighborhood near Marina del Rey.
The land is zoned for nearly 900,000 square feet of commercial space that could house offices or studios, vastly more room than Google now occupies in a handful of buildings in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Google is also expected to lease the Hughes hangar built in 1943,
according to The Times. The 319,000-square-foot building has recently housed soundstages for movie and television production.
“This is phenomenal news for the Westside and for the Los Angeles economy,” City Councilman Mike Bonin, who represents the Playa Vista area, said in remarks reported by The Times. “It really makes and brands Playa Vista as the tech and innovation capital of Los Angeles.”
Google, based in Mountain View, California., wouldn’t detail its plans.
But if Google is to develop the land as zoned, the Playa Vista site and the Hughes hangar could be home to as many as 6,000 well-paid, highly educated workers, according to The Times.
Internet firms such as Google commonly set aside about 200 square feet per employee.
Local entrepreneurs and investors told The Times they’re excited about the possibilities that a stepped-up Google presence could bring.