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Sources: Google Planning Big Pittsburgh Expansion

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Since moving into the old Nabisco cookie factory nearly three years ago, Google Pittsburgh has done nothing but expand.

This past June, the company added 75 employees, bringing its Pittsburgh workforce to more than 300.

Sources now say Google is planning its largest expansion of all. It will be leasing an as-yet-to-be constructed building across the street where it will potentially double its employees in the next few years.

"Most people know that they're going to expand," said Audrey Russo, of the Pittsburgh Technology Council. "In a big way."

Neither city and county officials nor the project developer, Walnut Capital, will not comment, but in addition to building 350 luxury apartments across the street, Walnut has a rendering for the new building, which would be connected to the Google plant with a pedestrian skyway.

Sources say Google is ready to move forward.

KDKA's Andy Sheehan: "What kind of signal does that send out to other tech communities in the country and throughout world?"

Russo: "Pay attention, pay attention. Top tier talent is here."

A Google spokesperson would not characterize any addition of space or hiring as a "major expansion," but in a statement said, "We're always looking for options that can help us accommodate natural growth in Pittsburgh."

Russo says Google is making a huge commitment to Pittsburgh.

Russo: "Google is very interest in innovation occurring outside walls of Google."

Sheehan: "So, they may buy companies here."

Russo: "They may buy, they may invest, they may partner with."

Pittsburgh may have a long way to go to become the next Silicon Valley. But this expansion helps solidify its position in the tech world, helping to make it a major player in the new global economy.

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