- Google on Monday announced plans to invest $1 billion in a new Manhattan campus development called Google Hudson Square, which will increase its presence in New York City by 1.7 million square feet.
- Google has entered into leases for two separate buildings — 315 and 345 Hudson Street — and signed a letter of intent for 550 Washington Street. The company will direct its investment toward capital improvements at the properties, all near the Hudson River on New York’s West Side. Google Hudson Square, said Ruth Porat, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Google’s parent company Alphabet, will become the main business location for its Global Business Organization, already located in New York City. The company will first move into the Hudson Street buildings in 2020, followed by the Washington Street building in 2022.
- Google also purchased Chelsea Market — a food and shopping destination with offices and a television production facility — from Jamestown Properties earlier this year for $2.4 billion, plus leased even more space at Pier 57, also on the West Side and south of Chelsea Piers. All of these expansions combined will allow Google to increase the size of its New York City employee pool by 7,000 during the next 10 years.
Google joins Amazon in staking out their respective sections of New York City, where both tech giants have said there is a diverse, qualified pool of employee candidates, although Amazon’s arrival was much more high profile.
After teasing more than two dozen North American metros for about a year with the prospect of winning a $5 billion second headquarters that would host 50,000 highly paid workers, Amazon decided to split it between New York City — Long Island City in Queens — and the National Landing neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia.
Amazon is partnering with JBG Smith to develop the National Landing HQ and has already started pre-construction on one of its new office buildings. The Long Island City details are not as clear cut, however, and that’s probably because there are plenty of critics of Amazon’s move there.
Long Island City residents have a concern that is common to residents faced with the “invasion” of a mega-company that will bring thousands of new workers and residents to the area, and that is of fundamental changes to the neighborhood — increased traffic congestion, more pollution, a culture shift and a surge in housing prices that those already living in the neighborhood can no longer afford.
There have also been questions around the incentives Amazon will receive from the city, with some complaining that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the moving bill for one of the world’s richest companies.