When people say tech, the name Silicon Valley comes into mind. Indeed, tech companies have long thrived in the San Francisco Bay area. However, big tech companies such as Google and Facebook have started building a tech empire in a state far from California.
On the East Coast, these tech companies have started building a fortune in New York. Within the streets of Manhattan and across the Hudson River, new offices for the biggest tech companies in the country have been moving in.
A Quick Turnaround
A few years ago, it didn't seem necessary for tech companies to find spaces outside of California. However, Manhattan has become a prime spot for these tech companies to expand its interstate empires.
In December 2018, Google announced that they will be expanding its presence in New York City by building a 1.7 million sq ft campus. This developed over time into the Google Hudson Square, a billion-dollar investment by Google.
Early in April, Netflix decided that they also want to build a presence in New York, investing over $100 million for a corporate office in Manhattan and a production studio in Brooklyn.
Facebook is also among those that made a move into New York, signing a lease for 1.5 millions sq ft at Hudson Yards last November.
Even Amazon, who broke hearts by announcing that they're not pushing for the earlier planned expansion into the Queens area on Valentine's Day 2019, due to criticism from politicians and activists with regards to public resources being used to boost billion dollar businesses, recently announced that they are due 2021 to move in on a 335,000 sq ft in Manhattan.
New York's position as a hub for the country's youngest, brightest, and hippest people is attractive enough for the tech industry to start moving into the city.
"New York City continues to be a great source of diverse, world-class talent - that's what brought Google to the city in 2000, and that's what keeps us here," says Google CFO Ruth Porat.
Indeed, the influx of tech companies building their massive presence in the area helped give thousands of jobs within the tech industry to its citizens. It's a positive spin that companies like Amazon likes to advertise when they reveal they're heading towards a new area - that it will bring transformative change by giving people jobs and bringing business in.
However, these companies also enjoy some benefits from the government for going into the area. For example, Amazon reportedly received massive amounts of offers from New York's governor Andrew Cuomo just for them to open an office there. Tax cuts and incentives all add to the decision to open new offices in the city, which also draws a lot of criticism for allegedly contributing to wealth inequality. There might be some merit in this fear, as currently, the government has been losing billions in terms of tax returns due to recent policies on tax cuts.
Regardless, Manhattan has become a very attractive place for tech companies to build a new empire. The New York Times even called The Banks of Hudson as "Silicon Valley's Newest Rival."
Now, the problem for the local government is to replicate this elsewhere other than Manhattan. "We don't have a problem bringing businesses to Manhattan, but we have been trying for decades to get that Queens waterfront developed," says Gov. Cuomo.
But with the quick growth of the tech industry, it's safe to say that the space Manhattan has been providing for these companies won't be enough for long.