Google’s Chelsea footprint just got a whole lot bigger — and tastier.
The tech giant closed on a $2.4 billion deal Tuesday to buy the Chelsea Market building from its current owner, a real estate investment group called Jamestown. Google has been leasing about one-third of the nearly 1.2 million-square-foot facility, and also purchased a building nearby, on the other side of Ninth Avenue.
The popular food court on the lower floors, for which the Chelsea Market is named, will remain intact, according to Jamestown, who will continue to maintain that space.
“I think the intent is to operate the market as it has been and continue to evolve it,” said Jamestown’s president, Michael Phillips.
At $2.4 billion, Google has made the second most expensive purchase of a single building in city history, according to Jamestown.
Chelsea Market, which takes up an entire block between Ninth and Tenth avenues and 15th and 16th streets, originally housed a Nabisco factory. It was redeveloped into a shopping and office complex, which opened in 1997. The food hall became an immediate hit with foodies, attracting 5 million visitors annually with eateries such as Miznon, The Lobster Place and Doughnuttery.
Phillips said Google does not yet have any immediate plans for major changes at the building, aside from routine maintenance.
However, Jamestown intends to export the Chelsea Market concept to other cities around the world.
“We’ve been looking and talking about the opportunities in locations in Europe, South America . . . and Asia,” Phillips said.