If the COVID-19 pandemic was supposed to destroy New York City’s tech scene, Google clearly didn’t get the memo: The search-engine giant just announced that it’ll spend an additional $2.1 billion on Manhattan office space.
Google’s existing real estate holdings in New York City include Chelsea Market, a massive set of buildings on the metropolis’s West Side, and a retail store. Its latest purchase, St. John’s Terminal, will serve as an anchor for that growing “Hudson Square campus,” and open as an office in mid-2023. Google’s local employee headcount stands at 12,000.
“As Google moves toward a more flexible hybrid approach to work, coming together in person to collaborate and build community will remain an important part of our future. It is why we continue investing in our offices around the world,” the company wrote in a corporate blog posting. “Our decision to exercise our option to purchase St. John’s Terminal further builds upon our existing plans to invest more than $250 million this year in our New York campus presence.”
Google is also highlighting investments in the local community. “Our Grow with Google programs are helping to create new pathways to in-demand tech jobs for people most impacted by the pandemic,” the posting added. “Through Google’s skilling programs, more than 3,800 New Yorkers have completed a certificate program to date. We are working with select CUNY/SUNY Schools to add Google Certificates to their curriculum as part of the SUNY for All free online training program.”
Google isn’t the only tech giant hiring avidly in New York City. According to an analysis by The New York Times, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple together hired more than 2,600 employees in the city throughout 2020, bringing their collective total to more than 22,000. Amazon still plans on moving into a massive Midtown building once occupied by Lord & Taylor, while Facebook is taking over the stately Farley Building, which is a New York City Landmark.
Why are the tech giants (along with dozens of startups) investing so heavily in NYC? It might have something to do with the local tech talent, combined with easy access to everything from airports to venture capital and great food. According to Burning Glass, which collects and analyzes millions of job postings from across the country, New York City has led all other U.S. cities in tech job postings over the past three months.