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Google's Sergey Brin Becomes Real Estate Mogul

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    NEW YORK - JUNE 23: Google co-founder Sergey Brin opens the internet company's new office space inside historic Chelsea Market June 23, 2008 in New York City. The new space, which is across the street from the older Google office, will house around 300 employees bringing the total number of Google employees in New York City to around 1,500. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sergey Brin

    Google co-founder Sergey Brin is now in the real estate business, quietly backing a real estate company that specializes in renovating and renting Los Altos commercial properties, it was reported Thursday.

    The company, Passerelle Investment Co., is also known for helping to keep some existing storefronts in place and charging below-market rents, according to the Wall Street Journal. So far Passerelle has paid millions to buy about six commercial buildings in the last three years, including several family-oriented businesses. 

    While the city's mayor expressed positive sentiments, others don't like the growth or child-focused businesses. Neither Passerelle nor Brin commented on the story.
    Los Altos, a quiet suburb filled with technology executives, sits next to Mountain View, the headquarters of Google. Brin, 38, and his wife live in nearby Los Altos Hills.
    Brin has a history of charitable donations, so it's not surprising he may be investing in a company close to home that helps will bring growth and yet not corporate greed. It largely looks as if Brin is a silent investor in this endeavor, rather than a major real estate player, so we think this investment may be just an anomaly in his portfolio.