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Global cities from Seoul to Tel Aviv have welcomed Google with open arms, but in the bohemian Berlin district of Kreuzberg the Silicon Valley giant has found itself on the front lines of gentrification trench warfare. Google's new Berlin hub now in the making – 3,000 square meters hosting offices, a cafe and a coworking space in a once-derelict industrial building – is set to be the latest outpost of California startup culture in Europe.A study by the Cologne Institute for Economic Research last year found German gross domestic product would be 0.2 percent higher if Berlin simply vanished overnight – one possible reason why Mayor Michael Mueller is in favor of the Google development.A study by consultants Knight Fox found property prices had increased faster in Berlin than anywhere else in the world between 2016 and 2017, shooting up 20.5 percent overall and up to 71 percent in Kreuzberg.
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