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Google's $1B NYC investment shows it's looking past Silicon Valley for growth

Big Tech's expansion outside of Silicon Valley continues: ...

Posted: Dec. 18, 2018 6:12 AM
Updated: Dec. 18, 2018 6:12 AM

Big Tech's expansion outside of Silicon Valley continues: Google announced Monday it will invest more than $1 billion to double its workforce in New York City.

In a blog post, Google said it will expand into three office buildings near the Hudson River in lower Manhattan. The company will gain 1.7 million square feet for more than 7,000 additional employees. Google hopes to move into the new space in 2020 and 2022, developing the new buildings into its New York-based headquarters.

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Google (GOOGL) opened its first New York location in 2000. That single-person sales office in a Starbucks was its first presence outside of California. Today Google has more than 7,000 employees based in New York, most of which work in the Chelsea building it purchased in 2010.

Ruth Porat, Google's chief financial officer, said Google is now growing faster outside the San Francisco Bay area than in it. Earlier this year, Google opened offices and data centers in Detroit, Los Angeles, Boulder, Colorado, Tennessee and Alabama.

Other tech companies are following that trend. Last week, Apple (AAPL) said it will expand in Austin,Texas, and three other cities. Last month, Amazon (AMZN) announced it would open new headquarters in both New York and suburban Washington.

Amazon's high-profile search for new office space had dozens of cities and states offering economic incentive packages to try to land the business. Its selection of New York and Arlington, Virginia, included incentives worth about $2.1 billion between the two sites. Amazon promised to invest $2.5 billion and bring 25,000 staff to the new locations.

Apple announced it is spending $1 billion on a new campus in Austin that will have at least 5,000 employees. It also announced new offices in San Diego, Seattle and Culver City, California that will get new offices of more than 1,000 workers each.

Google's New York expansion plans did not include any public competition between cities. Google said it did not pursue any tax incentives as part of its new campus.

Google parent Alphabet reported that as of the end of 2017 it had 80,000 full-time employees globally.

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