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Google looking to buy offices in San Francisco

The hills of San Francisco may soon be alive with the sound of tapping keyboards. According to the Financial Times, Google is eyeing a property in the city's trendy Mission District.

The move is part of a larger plan to recruit Silicon Valley-averse engineers. The search giant would reportedly take over a 35,000 square-foot former print-works building.

The location—which is undoubtedly a step down from its Mountain View-based headquarters—stands empty at 298 Alabama St.; the five-decade-old Howard Quinn newspaper and catalogue printer went out of business in 2012, no thanks to tech conglomerates like Google.

The 1920s building is zoned for manufacturing, the Financial Times said, adding that it could be used as another space for Google gadget-makers to develop new devices. It could also be a home for Google's new divisions like robotics, wearable tech, or the "Internet of things," the paper suggested.

Google has not yet confirmed the move; a spokeswoman declined to comment on the rumours.

This report comes days after Google ended its 30-day water taxi pilot program, which shuttled employees from its headquarters to San Francisco and Alameda. The ferry — a program Facebook is also reportedly testing — could serve as an alternative to California's congested highways and overcrowded bus routes.

The water route will also avoid protesters who were irked that Google and other tech firms were using public bus stops for their private shuttle buses.