High-profile purchases, leasing deals and hiring have seen technology companies threaten to upend Wall Street’s historic role as New York’s dominant industry.
Google made waves in Manhattan real estate when it bought the iconic Chelsea Market and its 2.9 million-square-foot New York headquarters building within a few years of each other in the past decade. The technology giant followed up last month with the largest U.S. real estate transaction since the pandemic, a $2.1-billion purchase of the under-construction St. John’s Terminal.
Google’s takeover of Manhattan’s West Side has been mirrored to varying degrees by Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Salesforce, each of which has established a campus in the city. The surge in real estate occupancy shows how technology companies are rapidly displacing counterparts in banking and finance as the city’s biggest industry in the aftermath of the pandemic: Big tech also leads in employment growth and by volume of companies.
Two decades ago, Tim Armstrong, 50, became Google’s first New York-based employee. “If you were having a cocktail party for all the people who worked in the internet in New York, you could fit them all in a bar,” Armstrong says. “Now I’m guessing you’d have to take over Madison Square Garden, plus the Javits Center to fit everybody in.”
By David Jeans via Forbes.