Last month’s decision by Google to spend $2.1 billion to buy the downtown building it had been leasing was hailed as a huge vote of confidence in an ailing office market. But what’s still a bit of a mystery is the strategy behind the buy-instead-of-rent play.
For sure, the company will have greater say over the build-out of the interior, expected to start once facades at 550 Washington St. are finished next year. And in a neighborhood that is busy with commercial-to-residential conversions, owning its address should protect the property of the tech giant going forward, some add.
But the deal might have simply made good financial sense.
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