Google To Play Daniel Plainview, Tap Into NYC’s High-Traffic Oil Field

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Exterior view of 111 Eighth Avenue circa 1925

Welgos/Getty Images

They drink your fiber optics! Drainage!

If you ever were in New York randomly and happened to get out of the A-C-E 14th street subway station, you may have looked around and thought, “Why is that building over there taking up an entire city block?” Well, that’s because it was built to house the Port Authority, and once they move out it’s not like you can just tear it down.

Google has had its New York headquarters in the building, 111 Eighth Avenue, since 2006 but is now reportedly planning to buy the whole thing in a nearly $2 billion deal.

The move is spectacular, and not just because of the prospect of Google owning an entire city block. As the Village Voice explained back in ’06, 111 Eighth Ave. sits atop a veritable oil well of technological infrastructure:

What lies beneath 111 Eighth Avenue may be more important than the building itself. The old Port Authority headquarters sits atop one of the main fiber optic arteries in New York City — the Hudson Street–Ninth Avenue “fiber highway.” The venerable behemoth is already one of the country’s most important “carrier hotels” — loosely speaking, the physical connection points of the world’s telecommunications networks and the World Wide Web.

Google already has access to the artery, of course. But if they own the building, they could presumedly control who else gets to access it, correct? But we’re not saying anything, we’re just asking questions.

We’re finished! (From the New York Post via Valleywag)