Cambridge City Councilor David Maher said it all last night: "We live in a very competitive economic development world right now ... competitive around the country, but also competitive around the area. All of us saw how very quickly Boston was ready to pounce at the opportunity to court one of our companies."
Yes, indeed. So, partly because of that, the City Council voted 7-2 to approve Google's expansion in Kendall Square. The company will grow to 300,000 square feet, mostly from two connectors amid Three, Four and Five Cambridge Center. Its workforce, which numbered 40 five years ago and now totals about 800, will grow along with the expansion.
In exchange! Google and its landlord, Boston Properties, agreed to bump up the amount of new parkland that will replace that which will be lopped off by the expansion. The pair also pledged $2 million toward its design and construction; and Boston Properties said it would come with plans for about 180 apartments in the area after the expansion's done in mid-2013.
Somewhere, Tom Menino is shaking his clenched fist at a Google homepage.