On the West side, Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, lies a multi-use building that is one of the most important high-tech addresses in the United States. Located between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, spanning both 15th and 16th Street, 111 8th Avenue occupies an entire city block. As one of the East Coast’s key “telecom hotels” — centralized locations where groups of communications and networking firms hook up their hardware, the building sits on top of one of the main fiber optic junctions in the U.S. The gargantuan edifice was formerly Port Authority Headquarters, and is one of the largest buildings in New York at nearly 3 million square feet (a million more sq ft than the Empire State Building). About a quarter of the building is dedicated to data center and telecom space.

Google’s purchase of the building, in which they allocated a 500,000 square foot space spanning over three floors to themselves, was bought for a swag $1.9 billion. Their affirmative lease of the building opened up additional office space for the growing New York sales and engineering operations back in 2010, and have continued to do so. Included in Google’s tenant list are CT Corporation, Deutsch Bank, Lifetime Networks, Nike, WebMD, and others. The address is the quintessential colocation location, where many business descend to operate in the most wired, high-profile office space in the world.

The building has a dedicated helipad on the roof, takes about twenty minutes to walk the circumference of, and contains elevators so spacious, you could easily fit an 18-wheel semi-truck inside. 111 Eighth Avenue boasts the fabled “Meet-Me” room, containing a bunch of networking gear directly hooked up to the subterrannean fiber line. This fiber highway is composed of fiber-optic cables that travel in large bundles underneath the asphalt of New York City, then make a dog-leg to the right at the corner of Hudson/Ninth before heading north-east toward the Upper West Side.

Widely acknowledged as New York City’s most important location for interconnection and colocation, 111 Eighth Avenue also houses interconnection and data center company, telx’s, 45,000 square foot C³ Cloud Connection Center. The telecommunications facility contains sophisticated and busy switching stations with the fastest routes to Europe and Latin America and a tenant list including BT, NTT, Cable & Wireless, Verizon, Sprint, et al.

It’s easy to understand why the Port Authority needed such a massive structure. For Google, the office is a huge upgrade to say the least, from the Starbucks on 86th – their first New York City Office. Google appears to be holding onto the leasing and management operations of the lightning fast giant.