Google buys Channel 7’s Sydney buildings

Google has expanded its footprint in Sydney’s Pyrmont. Bloomberg.

US technology giant Google has finalised a deal to buy buildings on Sydney Harbour that house the Seven television network, in a purchase worth about $170 million.

The play dramatically boosts Google’s holdings in the technology hub of Pyrmont and is a fresh sign of the US technology giant’s dominance over traditional media.

Buying the properties, on Darling Island Rd and Pirrama Rd, effectively gives Google a stranglehold over Sydney’s prestigious Darling Island precinct. Google already occupies the entire workplace6 building across the road from the Seven Network buildings. The broadcaster is shifting to inner suburb Redfern later this year.

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Google in January also struck a deal to take up all space in the nearby Fairfax Media building at 1 Darling Island Rd.

The newspaper company is hunting for a new home and leasing sources have tipped it may be headed to an ISPT-owned tower at 477 Pitt St in Sydney’s CBD.

Chinese-backed group Aqualand sold the Pyrmont property, which is part of the broader REVY site it bought in 2015 from a consortium including Citta Property Group, and the Barana Group for $180 million.

Aqualand head of sales and marketing Alex Adams said the sale to Google had no effect on the REVY site. He said Aqualand was now building the 41-unit project and that it had sold 36 apartments.

“We have held five apartments off the market and will release these for sale towards the end of this year, in line with the completion of a fast-tracked apartment display gallery,” Adams says.

The Jin Lin-led company has sold some buildings out of its near 20-strong empire across Sydney that were not suitable to be immediately converted to units. It has also kept some office towers where it can benefit from rent rises and is pouring its energies into its flagship apartment scheme at Central Barangaroo.

The Google off-market deal was brokered by CBRE’s Justin Brown, Peter Krieg and Sharon Yang, but they declined to comment. Google’s move is just a ­medium-term solution and it will continue to weigh up its longer-term space requirements. The company has been tied to a host of projects as developers believe it could anchor a new technology precinct in the city.

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