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Google has reportedly bought Chelsea Market | © Chun-Hung Eric Cheng/ Flickr
Google has reportedly bought Chelsea Market | © Chun-Hung Eric Cheng/ Flickr

New York Tech Companies Take Over the City

Picture of Peter Ward
Tech Editor
Updated: 21 February 2018

New York’s technology giants are buying up large parts of the city as the tech scene in the city expands.

The New York Times reported in February that Google is buying Chelsea Market for $2.4 billion. The space, which used to be a Nabisco factory, is currently a food mart, an office building, and a major tourist attraction.

Google’s expansion affords the ever-growing company more space away from its headquarters across Ninth Avenue. The company’s current space is larger than the Empire State Building and covers an entire bock.

Google, however, is not the only major technology company taking up more real estate in New York. According to research by Endeavor Insight, technology companies led by local entrepreneurs directly employ 53,000 people in the city, over 1% of the workforce. Between 2003 and 2013, the New York tech industry grew twice as fast as Silicon Valley’s, in terms of dollars invested. Venture capital funding in New York City also increased by 240% over the same 10 years, and more than 85% of the current tech sector companies in New York were created during that time.

And this expansion has been reflected in the city’s real estate. At the end of 2017, technology firms were using 29.3 million square feet, or 8%, of office space in New York City, according to CBRE, a real estate company. In the past 10 years alone, technology companies have leased 21 million square feet. Nine years ago, tech companies only had 5% of office space in the city.

Facebook also has a significant office space in New York. The company is located at 770 Broadway, in a cast-iron building that was previously a department store. The building takes up a whole block between Eighth and Ninth Streets. That’s still nothing compared to Facebook’s California headquarters. The company moved into a 430,000-square-foot campus in Menlo Park in 2015, but is already planning to move. The social network wants to build “Willow Campus,” a mixed-use village.

New York is still in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters, a contest which has led to some staggering favor-seeking by some of the largest cities in the U.S. There are still 20 cities or regions vying to provide Amazon with a new home, and whichever place wins out will enjoy a facility that could generate 50,000 jobs in the future.

New York has also seen an increase in technology infrastructure, such as the engineering campus opened by Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island.