The bodybuilders of Venice Beach's Gold's Gym and the neighborhood's newest corporate powerhouse, Google, are locked in an epic real estate grudge match. According to the New York Times, Venice denizens are afraid that Google's recent real estate spending spree in Venice will next target the famous Gold's Gym location: "Google moved an army of sales and technology employees into 100,000 square feet in two Venice buildings. It is negotiating leases on another 100,000 square feet, according to real estate agents. That includes the 31,000-square-foot expanse that is Gold's Gym, the very bodybuilding symbol of Venice, if not the universe." Google insists they are not going to take over the gym: "We're not taking over Gold's," said spokesman Jordan Newman, but the bodybuilders don't believe the nerds. "They'll buy it, they'll kick us out, and we'll have to relocate," says Jerry Martin, one of the gym's bodybuilders.
And just to put a very fine point on this story, how's this for a quote: "Nathanial Moon, bulging with muscles, called it 'the ultimate revenge of the nerds, the greatest way of getting back at all the guys that stuffed people from Google into lockers from high school and stole all their prom dates. And you can't fight against Google, because they've got billions of dollars'."
For the record, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is ok with Venice's new Google overlords, and doesn't believe that they will shut down the gym: "he welcomes Google as a neighbor and said the fears that it would turn Venice into a sanitized Silicon Valley on the Pacific were exaggerated. 'This is the mecca of bodybuilding,' he said. 'They will never leave.'"
· Venice Beach Bodybuilders Fear Google Is Kicking Sand at Them [New York Times]
· Google Moves Into Gehry's Binoculars Building in Venice [Curbed LA]