Google is expanding its already sizable presence in San Francisco by leasing space in one office tower and buying another on the Embarcadero, close to a third complex where the company currently has offices overlooking San Francisco Bay, this newspaper learned Friday.

The giant Internet search company is also expanding at a rapid clip in the suburbs around its corporate headquarters in Mountain View, where it has bought more than 20 buildings in the last four years. But this week, the company signed a lease for office space at One Market Street in San Francisco, and also closed a deal to buy an eight-story building at 188 Embarcadero in the city.

A number of Silicon Valley companies have been expanding their offices in San Francisco, in part because many younger tech workers prefer to live there. About 12,000 Google employees work in Mountain View, but many commute from San Francisco in a fleet of company buses.

Google declined to discuss plans for its new San Francisco offices, and financial details of the two deals couldn't be learned. Representatives for the building owners couldn't be reached. Google currently occupies about 350,000 square feet of office space in the Hills Plaza complex on Spear Street.

"We are excited to expand in San Francisco, and we will continue to work hard to be a good neighbor in the communities where we work and live," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.


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San Francisco officials welcomed the news. Google has "demonstrated that they really have the San Francisco values that the mayor has been trying to impart to other companies," said Christine Falvey in Mayor Ed Lee's office.

She was referring to Google's recent donations to local charities and a $6.8 million grant from the company that will provide free transit passes for low-income youth in the city. Google announced the grant after critics complained its private buses were blocking access to public transit stops.

Buses operated by Silicon Valley companies have become a point of controversy for activists who say affluent tech workers are displacing lower-income residents in some San Francisco neighborhoods. City officials have said they are working with Google and other tech companies to increase their financial contributions to the city and its economy.

Contact Brandon Bailey at 408-920-5022; follow him at Twitter.com/BrandonBailey