Google will invest more than $1 billion to expand its New York City presence, the search giant said in a blog post on Dec. 17.
The Alphabet Inc. division said it had reached lease agreements at 315 and 345 Hudson St. and signed a letter of intent at 550 Washington St. to make up the new 1.7 million-square-foot (158,000-square-meter) campus, to be called Google Hudson Square.
Google aims to move into the new Hudson buildings by 2020 and the Washington Street location by 2022, Alphabet Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said in the blog post. The move could allow the company to more than double the current 7,000 people it employs in the city over the next decade.
The Google expansion joins a flurry of other announcements from the U.S.’s largest tech companies, as they seek to show off investments in their home country. Amazon.com Inc. recently announced it had split its new second headquarters in half, between the Washington, D.C., suburbs and Long Island City, in the New York borough of Queens. The online retailer initially intends to develop about 4 million square feet of commercial space in New York to accommodate 25,000 new workers.
Apple Inc. said last week it would invest $1 billion to grow its operations in Austin by constructing a new employee campus in the area, large enough to house 15,000 additional employees. It also announced plans to expand in New York, Pittsburgh, and Boulder, Colorado, in the next three years and set up new sites in several other U.S. cities.
New York is the largest market for technology talent behind San Francisco, according to a report from brokerage CBRE Group Inc. that looked at the U.S. and Canada. New York had 254,270 tech employees last year, with the labor pool growing 17 percent from 2012 through last year. The city also has the highest annual asking rent for office space, at $74.88 a square foot, as of the first quarter.
Google’s New York investment also follows other new offices and data centers opened this year outside of its California headquarters in locations including Detroit, Boulder, Tennessee, and Alabama.
Google’s first foray into New York, 18 years ago, was far less dramatic than the Dec. 17 announcement: a one-person sales team working out of a Starbucks on 86th Street. A more official office, in Times Square, followed soon after.
The company’s New York employees focus on maps, advertising, YouTube, cloud computing, technical infrastructure, sales and research. And its real estate purchases rank among the largest ever in Manhattan. In 2010, Google bought 111 Eighth Ave., its New York headquarters, for $1.8 billion. Earlier this year, it paid $2.4 billion for the nearby Chelsea Market.
Google has agreed to lease offices at Pier 57, under development along the Hudson River. It also plans to fund construction of a landing dock for water transit and provide community space for culture and education programs at the project.
By Natalia Drozdiak & Olivia Carville