The last time Betabeat was at Googleplex East, we rode the elevator up with a Russian-speaking developer sporting a Google “5th floor” t-shirt. But if the search giant has its way, those floor-pride shirts might soon read “14th” and “15th.”
For now, however, Donnie Deutsch, the ad exec and former CNBC host that New York magazine called “the last of the Madison Avenue wild men,” is standing in the way. His advertising agency has a lease for 140,000 square feet on the 14th and 15th floors that doesn’t end until 2013, reports the New York Post.
Google has been trying to buy out tenants in plans to expand within its 2.9 million square foot building, “which looms over the neighborhood and provides great light and air to its tenants.”
But while Mr. Deutsch has been searching for alternative spaces, it’s hard to give up the thrill of offering visitors a scooter in case it takes them too long to ride the length of your office. Not to mention competition for space from other techies, says the Post:
“Other brokers say the search isn’t going so well, as the submarket is the tightest in the country and large suitable blocks are rare. According to a new report by Jones Lang LaSalle, 45 high-tech companies alone are looking for over 3 million square feet in Manhattan, and many of them are targeting Midtown South.”
The showdown with Mr. Deutsch may be a problem money can solve:
“As Deutsch is known for believing that there’s a price for everything, we wonder if Google will make it worthwhile for the ad firm to move or if they will simply dig in their heels for the long run.”
Pro tip for Mr. Deutsch: Google has no problem spending, as long as you keep it tight-lipped.