Google & Tech Sector Lead the Way Back to the Office

Google & Tech Sector Lead the Way Back to the Office

Google said it is buying a Manhattan office building for $2.1 billion, one of the clearest signals yet of big technology companies’ growing appetite for office space, even as these firms embrace remote work. The transaction was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The deal for the new building on Manhattan’s West Side is the most expensive sale of a single U.S. office building since the start of the pandemic—and one of the priciest in U.S. history, according to data company Real Capital Analytics.

The company has more than 12,000 employees in the city, and it intends to add at least 2,000 more “in the coming years.”

While Manhattan has a glut of office space available for lease, setting record vacancy levels during the pandemic, the four firms that make up so-called Big Tech ( Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook) have staked a bullish position on the future of New York.

The companies have rapidly increased their operations and work force, one of the few bright spots for New York, which has been hit harder by the pandemic’s economic toll than any other major American city.

Google already leases the building and said it would exercise an option to purchase the St. John’s Terminal building in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Manhattan. In a blog post, CFO Ruth Porat said the building would “serve as the anchor” of its new campus in the area.

While CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post late last month that Google is delaying its global return to offices until Jan. 10, the commitment by the company to further invest in New York City real estate was trumpeted both by Gov. Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, who called it “one of the shots in the arm we need as part of our comeback.”

“Google is leading the way here in our economic comeback but also further asserting what we know more and more: New York City is now one of the great tech capitals in the world,” de Blasio said at a virtual news conference Tuesday.

Google’s has had a footprint in New York City for more than two decades and it is the company’s largest location outside of California. Its 1.7 million-square-foot Hudson Square campus is on the Hudson River just south of the New York University campus and Greenwich Village.

The company anticipates that its investment will add another 14,000 employees in New York City.

Collectively, the four tech giants employ more than 20,000 people in their Manhattan offices. But their workers are unlikely to work five days a week in the office again anytime soon. Many tech companies have said they will allow employees to work remotely in a hybrid arrangement even after the pandemic ends. Google recently postponed its return-to-office plans to early 2022 because of the highly contagious delta variant.

The speed with which the economy recovers in New York City, especially Manhattan, could hinge on its swath of office buildings, which before the pandemic attracted 1 million workers every day whose spending on everything from morning coffee to business lunches to after-work Broadway shows supported thousands of businesses. The absence of those workers during the pandemic has led many stores and restaurants to close in Manhattan.

Companies have embraced remote work during the pandemic in ways they never had before, deciding that employees could continue to work away from the office for some or all of the week after the pandemic eventually ends and even hiring new employees who plan to work remotely indefinitely.

Office space is not going to disappear, but, Lister said: “The total space will come down.” Still, elected officials in New York sought to cast Google’s announcement as a sign of the city’s rebound.

“This announcement from Google is yet another proof point that New York’s economy is recovering and rebuilding,” Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said in a statement. “We are creating jobs, investing in emerging industries, lifting up New Yorkers, and together, we are writing our comeback story.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the deal “a historic investment in New York City”.

Similar Articles you will Love


  • Google to spend $3b on Manhattan office building

By Matthew Haag and Nicole Hong

  • Google to Spend $2.1 Billion on Manhattan Office Building

By New York Times

  • Google plans to buy New York office building for $2.1 billion

By Lauren Feiner

  • Google to Buy New York City Office Building for $2.1 Billion

By Konrad Putzier

  • Google to buy New York City office building for $2.1 billion

By The Associated Press

  • Google to buy more office space in NYC as big tech swoops down on real estate

by Akanksha Rana

  • Google is buying a New York City office building for $2.1 billion

By Sean Keane