One of New York’s ultimate food halls will soon have a new owner: Google. The Real Deal reports today that the tech company is in contract to buy the 1.2 million–square–foot Chelsea Market building for an amount somewhere above $2 billion, which would make it 2018’s biggest real-estate deal so far.
The block-size building played a pivotal role in New York food history well before Chelsea Market materialized in the ’90s. It was previously the factory for the National Biscuit Company, a baking giant better known today as Nabisco, and it’s the birthplace of Oreos. Besides the wealth of concourse-level food vendors and restaurants, a grocery space with Saxelby Cheesemongers, Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, and Heatonist stands opened downstairs last year, too. The Food Network is also headquartered upstairs, alongside Oxygen and other media companies, and lots of offices for Google, which, it won’t shock you to learn, has quietly swallowed enough of the building to become Chelsea Market’s largest tenant, hence the interest in purchasing it.
The Real Deal reports that company reps wouldn’t elaborate on plans for the building, although sources say that there’s no need to despair about Sarabeth’s, the Lobster Place, Very Fresh Noodles, Ninth Street Espresso, or Chelsea Wine Vault — Google is “expected to keep the status quo” on the retail front.