Hello Google!

I’m sure everyone has read the news that the long anticipated Google deal (to build a new UK HQ in King’s Cross)  has been made. Tax affairs aside, I am sure we all welcome such an exciting business to our community. The press release from KX Central is here if you want the numbers and location details http://www.kingscross.co.uk/press-release-2013-01-17

The site of course is directly on the other side of the tracks from York Way and its junction with Wharfdale Road. This presents another opportunity to better connect the Islington side of KX with the main transport hub. It’s unlikely Camden will explore this as part of planning so let’s hope LBI (Islington council) can assert some influence with their neighbour. Any thoughts on how we might get this on the table would be most welcome! ( and I’ve not really optimised this for Google search ;)Image

About Sean Murray

Sean Murray is the founder of Sean Murray Retail Marketing - a team of multi discipline retail marketing specialists and an urban activist in London's King's Cross - a hot bed of regeneration, wheely trollies and a one-way system we want to make history. http://www.seanmurrayuk.com
This entry was posted in #googlebridgeKX, Architecture, Kings Cross N1C, railwayslands and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Hello Google!

  1. Yes do press Google, even though Argent’s undertaking (to Camden in S106 agreement I think) to keep the option open for the foot/cycle bridge open until 2012 presumably expired 17 days ago. I told Simon Allford at architects AHMM all about this in March last year when the scheme was first announced and he replied “interesting” but that they were bound by an agreement not to disclose anything so could not discuss.

  2. There’s a report over on Engagadget that suggest Google have budget $1.6 billion (yes, ‘billion’) for this. Just over £1 billion.

    http://www.engadget.com/2013/01/18/google-sc-london-buildings/

    Stunning if true.

  3. Ahhh right here’s some more from Reuters

    ‘A separate source with knowledge of the deal said Google was investing 650 million pounds to buy and develop the site. The office building will be worth up to 1 billion pounds when it is finished in 2016, a second source said.’

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/us-google-british-headquarters-idUSBRE90G0X920130117

  4. Bob Smith says:

    There was indeed a reference to the footbridge in the s.106 (not to build a bridge, just to to allow for the possibility); but it was a time-limited obligation and expired at the end of 2012.

    The Google deal is great news for King’s Cross but I wouldn’t waste your time hoping for a new footbridge across the tracks. It really isn’t ever going to happen. The only realistic way to connect York Way with the new station concourse would’ve been to include a new footbridge when the station itself was being regenerated (a bridge via Network Rail’s Eastern Side offices would’ve made some sense). Now that the Google deal is signed, no bridge is possible. It would have to go straight through the Google building, which is a non-starter. Bear in mind that the Google building already has outline planning consent. The application to Camden will just be for reserved matters consent.

  5. Sophie Talbot says:

    Never say never… Google would win so much kudos by building a bridge and with the budget they have (not to mention other spare cash!!!) there’s no reason they shouldn’t win friends by making this fantastic bridge a reality.

  6. Bob Smith: As I recall (and I haven’t checked all the documents) Argent in their S106 undertook o keep open the option for the bridge to go through their building on Block A. It’s certainly not difficult to bring such a right of way through a building: think of the Sterling museum in Studdgardt.

  7. Bob Smith says:

    Mike – suggest you check your documents. You’ll find that the commitment has expired. Bringing a right of way through a museum is one thing (I’m making an assumption about how the Germans own their museums here), bringing a bridge across the East Coast Mainline and through a private building is something completely different. Camden have no interest in the bridge, Network Rail don’t want it, and Google are certainly not going to like the idea (if you don’t believe me, go to their Californian HQ (Mountain View) and ask for the guided tour). It’s not a case of never say never, it’s a case of picking your battles. This is really not going to happen, so let it go. Commit your (admirable) energy to another cause.

  8. Sophie Talbot says:

    Bob, totally agree it’s important to pick your battles and this is one that is so very important that I for one won’t ever drop it! We need this bridge not only to link our communities but also to provide an east/west cycle route from the Angel to Marylebone. It’s true Camden have shown no support for the bridge up to now, but that too can change. I don’t see why Google won’t love the idea – or rather ideas – for a bridge (there are many ideas for the bridge, most of which would bring big benefits to Google themselves). This is too good an opportunity for them to miss, they’d be dumb not to do it and that’s one thing Google is not…

  9. Gregory says:

    Camden and Islington work for residents and ratepayers (even Google staff in future) and with the Neighbourhood Forum, under the Localism Act 2011, may indeed rethink on planning King’s Cross for the twenty-first century – it ain’t California!

  10. Sophie Talbot says:

    Well said Greg – also the foot/cycle bridge has the support of TfL, our GLA member, Emily Thornberry MP, Islington LBC and many others, I hope Camden LBC will see their way to supporting it too… But in the end it needs an imaginative, innovative and inspired organisation with the cash to make it happen, any takers Google? Onwards to #googlebridgeKX :)

  11. Ben Myring says:

    Quite a bit of detail emerging in this thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=505188&page=91

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