More Google

MOUNTAIN VIEW -- Google (GOOG) has struck a deal to lease a large still-to-be-constructed office building in Mountain View where the tech company, which is in the midst of a remarkable expansion program, could move nearly 1,000 workers.

The search giant has leased 168,000 square feet in a five-story building that will be constructed in the Shoreline district by Cupertino-based Sobrato Organization, one of the Bay Area's development veterans. Sobrato executives declined to discuss the deal, which was signed a few days ago. Google officials confirmed Wednesday that the company has signed a lease and will occupy the building, but they wouldn't elaborate.

Based on its size, the building could accommodate 700 to 900 workers. It will be located a short distance from the company's headquarters.

"Since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, Google has been one of the leaders in driving corporate growth within the Santa Clara Valley," said Chad Leiker, a vice president with Kidder Mathews, a commercial realty brokerage.

Through property acquisitions, leases, and development, Google has recently occupied or committed to occupy about 3 million square feet of office space -- enough room for 12,000 to 15,000 employees. That includes the 1 million-square-foot Bayside Campus that Google intends to develop on the NASA Ames research site, although that project has been delayed for an estimated six to 12 months while Google fine-tunes the design of the complex.

"This shows a continued commitment by Google to growing in the Bay Area," said Jim Beeger, a senior vice president with Colliers International, a commercial real estate brokerage.

Google has signed leases in Sunnyvale that mark the company's first major outpost outside of Mountain View. It has bought buildings, large and small, in Mountain View and Palo Alto. It also has undertaken its first major development project in the Bay Area: the NASA campus, which could have 3,500 to 5,000 employees.

The deal involving Google is part of a remarkable expansion of tech companies in Santa Clara County and southern San Mateo County. Facebook is expanding in Menlo Park with a new headquarters campus. Apple (AAPL) has gobbled up space in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara and has launched plans for a huge headquarters in Cupertino. LinkedIn is expanding in Sunnyvale and Mountain View. Amazon.com unit Lab 126 is leasing space in Sunnyvale. Samsung is planning a major new office center in San Jose, the same city where Polycom has moved its headquarters in recent years.

Dell, Arista, Palo Alto Networks and Infoblox are expanding in Santa Clara.

"These expansions are household names, unlike what was the case during the dot-com days," Beeger said. "These companies have staying power. They will be around for a number of years."

Contact George Avalos at 408-859-5167 or 408-373-3556. Follow him at Twitter.com/georgeavalos.