Seeing as he’s not the CEO and all, Google co-founder Sergey Brin doesn’t get as much attention as Larry Page, though he did participate in what might be the craziest product intro in history – Google Glasses at Google’s I/O conference earlier this Summer.
Brin, who already seems like a solid dude, just got a bit cooler, which says something for a guy already involved in a number of noteworthy projects including investments in genetic cures for diseases.
The WSJ reports that Brin has set up a real estate holding firm called Passerelle Investment Company that buys up property in Los Altos, California and rents it out (at below market pricing mind you) to entities he feels the community needs such as children’s bookstores and the like.
The firm, Passerelle Investment Co., also has helped keep some existing mom-and-pop shops in place—sometimes by charging them below-market rents, say local store owners and a person briefed on the firm’s activities.
Passerelle, which is a French word for “footbridge,” has paid tens of millions of dollars to snap up at least a half-dozen commercial buildings in the past three years, according to public records and local real-estate agents. So far, the firm has brought in businesses that cater to families, such as a children’s bookstore, a children’s “playspace” and a cafe called Bumble that has a supervised children’s play area and sandbox.
Passerelle also has publicly disclosed plans to build a hotel and office space on a property that it co-owns with the city of Los Altos.
Seems like money well spent.