Google is reportedly gearing up to more than double the size of its engineering office in Kitchener-Waterloo.
The Waterloo Region Record is reporting that Google intends to occupy all the office space in an 11-storey building across the street from its current location. The new building will sit atop what is currently a parkette in the city’s downtown area.
City councillor for Kitchener’s Ward 10 Sarah Marsh, noted the expansion to The Record, adding that the main floor of the new office building should include public facilities and amenities, such as a coffee shop, restaurant, or personal services. Marsh said local residents are hoping to have greater participation in designing and accessing the new building, reportedly a challenge that persists in such a concentrated and competitive tech hub.
The tech giant has worked out of the Breithaupt Block building since 2016, stretching an entire city block along King Street, the main artery of Kitchener-Waterloo. At the time its current office opened in 2017, it was the second-largest engineering office outside of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, with 185,000 sq. ft. of space. Google will reportedly retain all of that and add 300,000 sq. ft. with the new building.
Canada was one of the first international operations for Google, which opened an office in Toronto in 2002. Google opened a small four-person office in Waterloo in 2005 and later expanded into the Tannery Building in Kitchener. Google has industry partnerships with Kitchener-Waterloo based innovation hubs like Communitech and the University of Waterloo’s Velocity accelerator.
Last year, Google opened up a community space to offer local organizations working in STEM education and diversity free access to host programming and events. Google is not currently providing comment. The Record is reporting that the official announcement of the deal will be made later this week.
The tech giant could also have a new major office space in Toronto at some point in the future, as its Alphabet sister company Sidewalk Labs has created space for Google at its proposed Quayside smart city development. In Sidewalk Labs’ proposal to Waterfront Toronto, it outlines a new Canadian headquarters for Google that would be housed just southeast of Quayside. The new headquarters are of course not confirmed as Sidewalk Labs’ itself still has to go through rounds of approval before the smart city project becomes a reality.
Photo credit Alex Kinsella