Google in Berlin: US group buys office building in Berlin-Mitte

Berlin sees itself as the capital of the digital economy, the start-up scene is as active as in just a few other major cities around the world, and in recent years more and more investors have been willing to invest their venture capital in young companies. Only the tech giants were more likely to hold back. That should change now. The Berliner Zeitung has learned exclusively that Google wants to create several hundred jobs here in the next few years. Therefore, in the middle of Johannishof bought, which will be renovated in the coming years, first. Google spokesman Ralf Bremer said: “Our investment is a renewed commitment of Google to Berlin.”

Google campus for startups in Kreuzberg led to discussions

The tech company opened its first office in the capital twelve years ago. At the beginning of the year, Google introduced its new headquarters in Tucholskystrae, moving into a prestigious building with a mixture of heritage-protected architecture by Martin Gropius and modern urban design, where about 140 employees found work, and 300 could be. The teams work on projects such as “Google for Start-ups” and in areas such as Google Play, Marketing, Politics, Software Development, Sales and YouTube. The company expects these divisions to continue to grow, hence the new building.

However, the locations in Hamburg (Germany headquarters) with 600 employees and Munich (development center) with 700 specialists were more important. When Google wanted to open a campus for start-ups in Kreuzberg last year, there was fierce protest from the residents. After a squat, the project was abandoned. But obviously this has not changed the basic attitude of Google to the capital.

Berlin wants to compete in the global competition for attractive locations

The new building in Johannisstrae has around 11,000 square meters of floor space. Google plans to use the building in a few years in addition to the existing office in the Tucholskystrae for the growing workforce. Both buildings are only about 300 meters apart.

The Johannishof had been built in 1910 as a production site and headquarters of a tobacco manufacturer. In the early 1950s, the building was converted into a hotel. The Johannishof was last renovated in 1999 and has since been used by various companies as a commercial space, also Rocket Internet found but seven years ago a home. “We are very happy about this traditional and beautiful building, just around the corner from our existing office,” said Bremer.

Google’s strategy fits in with the considerations that are shared by other Silicon Valley tech giants. The cost of living and salaries in California are rising all the time. A programmer in California receives about $ 100,000 as a starting salary, but the salary spiral is open at the top. When Philipp Justus, Google’s Vice President for Central Europe, was asked at the office opening in January what Berlin would have to do to compete in this worldwide competition for the most attractive locations, he cited three points: educating talents, talents from all over the world to lure the city and guarantee affordable housing. In the past few years, these were three criteria that the capital easily met. But Justus stated: “Berlin was a cheap capital, but that is not so.”

Berlin is known for research in the digital field

What’s more, the competition for the smart minds has long been led globally, Amazon, Google or Apple open in different regions of the US new offices and look for the best talent worldwide. The New York Times wrote that Silicon Valley has now become Silicon Nation. Coming soon will probably speak of silicone worldwide.

Berlin is known for its cutting-edge research in the digital field. The Governing Mayor Michael Mller recently praised the collaboration between universities and universities with companies in the city. This is noticeable in the area of start-ups, where Berlin fights with London and Paris for the top spot in Europe. But this is also reflected in the area of companies. Best example: the Siemens campus.

“Germany, however, is one of the core regions” – says the press secretary of Google

Last year Siemens announced that it would spend 600 million euros in the coming years for the restructuring of Siemensstadt. “Here is a district of the future emerge, the production, research, learning, working, living and living exemplary integrated,” said board member Cedrik Neike at a presentation of the concept in March. By the year 2030, the technology park and incubator will be ready for new ideas. At that time, Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser self-confidently explained: “Here in Germany, especially in Berlin, there were already foundations, there were no garages in Silicon Valley.”

A clear allusion to the Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who began 20 years ago with the development of the search engine in a backyard in California and Google made in the years thereafter to a global corporation. Meanwhile, the company is active worldwide. “Germany, however, is one of the core regions,” said the press secretary.