Paul Darrah

Paul Darrah


Paul Darrah

Director of Real Estate NYC at Google

Last year's rank: 35

Paul Darrah
By May 16, 2022 9:00 AM

Over the last 12 years, more than 5 million square feet of New York City have been either bought or rented — mostly bought — by search giant Google or its parent Alphabet; and Paul Darrah has helped lead the way.

In addition to occupying millions of square feet in block-sized buildings like Chelsea Market and 111 Eighth Avenue, Google also brought a more millennial-friendly office lifestyle to a Manhattan whose self-image is still that of Don Draper of Mad Men, men in expensive suits strutting like kings in sumptuous offices. In a Google office, ties are rare, and you’re more likely to see a couch and a coffee table than a workstation.

Last year, of course, brought a pandemic and Google employees, like employees everywhere, learned to work from their couches at home.

Nonetheless, don’t look for Google to back off now from its New York footprint any time soon, despite a May 5 memo by Sundar Pichal, CEO of Google and Alphabet, allowing for 20 percent of its staff to work from home permanently, and to allow anyone to spend up to two days a week working “wherever they work best.”

Darrah said in an email to Commercial Observer that the company plans to invest at least $250 million into its New York presence, while continuing to build out its Manhattan space, including a de facto East Coast campus unfolding over much of West Chelsea and Hudson Square. That includes 111 Eighth and Chelsea Market, which Google controls.

It also includes the 1.3 million-square-foot St. John’s Terminal, which Oxford Properties is redeveloping and which Google is anchoring. Construction is expected to wrap by mid-2022. Google is planning to move in during 2023, according to Darrah.

Construction is also moving forward at Pier 57, on the Hudson River, which is to include about 320,000 square feet of Google offices.

What’s more, Darrah said that the next 12 months “will be a year of experimentation” for everyone’s favorite search engine.—D.M.L.

More articles about Paul Darrah, Power 100 2021, Power 100 2022