- Google is planning to purchase enough real estate in New York City to add 12,000 workers, according to The Wall Street Journal. That would give the tech giant space for 20,000 total employees in the city.
- The Journal reports that parent company Alphabet Inc. is close to a deal to buy or lease an office building at St. John’s Terminal, set to be completed by 2022. Additionally, the company will expand its existing Chelsea Market building; a Google spokesperson said the building was adding a community space, winter garden and public water taxi landing.
- The reported expansion comes as Amazon is reportedly set to open its second headquarters (HQ2) in the city, adding some 25,000 jobs, although no official plans have been announced.
While Google’s plans are still not public, and it’s unclear if the company would actually add as many jobs as the new office space could accommodate, it would represent a significant influx of tech jobs to the already-growing market. If reports are true that Amazon will also split its new headquarters — and 50,000 jobs — between Long Island City in Queens and Arlington County, VA, New York City would become an even more significant player for the two tech giants.
When courting potential host cities for its HQ2, Amazon sought tax breaks and incentives; the Journal reports that Google has not applied for any New York subsidies or tax incentives as part of its expansion.
As tech firms have tried to expand beyond their west coast roots, New York has emerged as a key eastern hub. A recent Cushman & Wakefield report found that the city had seen significant growth in tech employment, raising property values and rents in the Midtown area where most of the industry is concentrated. "If Silicon Valley is the brains of the tech sector, then New York City is the creative center," Ken McCarthy, principal economist for Cushman & Wakefield, said in report materials.
It’s a reputation the city itself is trying to promote, given the immense economic opportunity the booming industry brings. It recently announced a $100 million investment from public and private partners to create up to 10,000 cybersecurity jobs. Last summer, the city opened a Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island, and this summer the city council approved a $250 million Union Square Tech Training Center, which Mayor Bill de Blasio said would be "the front door for tech in New York City” and offer training and business support for city residents entering the industry.