Google Commits $250M to New York Expansion

The tech titan is boosting its presence in Manhattan as part of a $7 billion nationwide real estate growth plan.

St. John’s Terminal. Rendering courtesy of View

Companies may be reassessing their space needs amid ongoing uncertainty about the future of work, but Google is among the tech giants that are expanding their real estate footprints, becoming engines of demand in sluggish office markets across the country—including New York City. 

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google said it plans to invest more than $250 million in New York State throughout 2021, including building out its campus presence in Manhattan, as part of a nationwide, $7 billion surge in its office and data center presence. The company plans to have 1.7 million square feet of total office space at its $1 billion Hudson Square campus on Manhattan’s West Side, which Google first announced in 2018.

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Construction topped out last November on St. John’s Terminal, a 1.3 million-square-foot component of the sprawling campus overlooking the Hudson River at 550 Washington St. Developed by Oxford Properties Group alongside the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the 12-story building will span two full city blocks and is expected to finish construction in mid-2022, with Google planning to move in by 2023. The tech firm leased the entire space in 2019. 

The three-site campus will also include nearby properties at 315 and 345 Hudson St. Meanwhile, RXR Realty and Youngwoo & Associates are moving ahead on construction of Pier 57, a former bus depot on the West Side that will house 320,000 square feet of additional space for Google when renovations are complete later this year. The search firm will anchor the 633,139-square-foot asset located at the end of West 15th Street, which will also include a mix of retail and public space.

Tech buildout

Google, which announced in 2018 that it would double its workforce in the city by 2028, currently has more than 11,000 full-time employees in New York State. The company’s bet on the Big Apple parallels the expansion of other firms in the rising technology hub, such as Facebook, which inked a 730,000-square-foot office lease at Vornado Realty Trust’s The Farley Building redevelopment in Midtown Manhattan last August.

Amazon, which announced a $1.4 billion expansion of its office space across six cities last August, is also ramping up its presence in New York. The e-commerce titan plans to open a new, 630,000-square-foot office at 424 Fifth Ave., the former Lord & Taylor flagship store, which it acquired from WeWork last year. The company’s office footprint in the city is also slated to include 335,408 square feet at 410 10th Avenue, SL Green’s 20-story redevelopment project in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards area.

Expansion at a national scale

Google is also growing elsewhere in the U.S. The company’s broader office and data center expansion plans include the creation of at least 10,000 new full-time jobs at the firm, including thousands of jobs in Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The company has committed more than $1 billion to growing its California office footprint in 2021 and plans to continue investing in Cambridge, Mass., and Pittsburgh. Google also intends to open a new office in downtown Portland, Ore., this year while continuing its growth in Boulder, Colo.

The firm announced plans last month to open its first Minnesota office in downtown Rochester, which will mainly house software engineers working in Google Cloud and Google Health. Google is also augmenting its operations in the South, where it is investing in offices and data centers in the Carolinas, Mississippi, Virginia and Texas, according to a statement.

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