Google says it won’t claim NYC tax breaks

Company set to buy St. John’s Terminal for $2.1B in record office deal

Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Getty/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Getty/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

In what’s perhaps a lesson from Amazon’s headquarters fiasco in Long Island City, Google indicated it will not seek available tax breaks for its $2.1 billion purchase of St. John’s Terminal in Hudson Square.

Google’s purchase of the Oxford Properties office building, which it was previously leasing, shattered a pandemic record for the country. Enthusiasm could’ve been dulled by tax breaks for the company, though; it is eligible for ICAP and REAP, among others, The City reported.

Google is eligible for the Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program, a tax benefit related to the renovation of a building, which was already underway during Google’s lease. Oxford Properties previously kicked off the application process for the project, which will be abandoned.

Rendering of St. John's Terminal (COOKFOX Architects)

Rendering of St. John’s Terminal (COOKFOX Architects)

The tech giant is also eligible for REAP, city tax credits worth $3,000 per job on an annual basis for relocating people into New York City. Both tax break programs are in place through 2025, but an official for the company told The City Google wasn’t seeking any available breaks.

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Google’s claim differs from Amazon and its planned corporate campus in Long Island City. The company was aiming to pull in $3 billion in various tax breaks for bringing an office to the Queens neighborhood. Local officials and residents came out against the plan, though, fuming at the company’s anti-union labor practices as well. By Valentine’s Day 2019, Amazon backed out.

Google said it expects to exercise an option to buy the building at 550 Washington Street by the first quarter of 2022. The company will be taking ownership of the waterfront property, a former freight terminal, that spans 1.3 million square feet.

The building is part of a larger Hudson Square campus for the company, which includes space at Jack Resnick and Sons’ 315 Hudson Street and Trinity Real Estate’s 345 Hudson Street. Google announced a $1 billion investment in the campus in 2018.

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[The City] — Holden Walter-Warner