SAN FRANCISCO -- There goes the neighborhood.
First came the Google bus. Now the Google building.
The Mission District -- which used to be a largely Latino working-class neighborhood -- has been ground zero for growing tensions over tech-driven gentrification in San Francisco.
Now the Internet giant won’t just be running its fleet of luxury commuter buses on its congested streets. It's setting up operations in the neighborhood.
Google plans to take over a 35,000-square-foot building on Alabama Street to house start-ups the Internet giant acquires, according to the Financial Times. The space is large enough to fit about 200 staffers.
Google is looking to cash in on the neighborhood’s hipster vibe that its upscale corporate home in the South of Market area of downtown San Francisco does not have. (Google is also opening an office in the trendy South Park neighborhood for its Google Ventures team, which invests in very young companies).
The move reflects the rising competition for technology workers who prefer to live in San Francisco. The growing number of technology workers who make the hour-long commute to Silicon Valley and the growing number of technology jobs here have led to a sharp rise in home prices, rents and evictions.
"When Google is buying companies, they don’t want to work in the big corporate building in San Francisco or Mountain View. So they are acquiring something cool in the Mission where engineers want to work," a source from the neighborhood told the Financial Times.
Google's third outpost in San Francisco also shows just how important the city has become to the tech industry.
A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.
Google will be moving into office space formerly occupied by Howard Quinn, which printed newspapers and catalogs. It went out of business in 2012, eclipsed by the rise of the Internet. The space is zoned for manufacturing so Google could conceivably develop gadgets, robotics and wearable technology there.