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Facebook just leased an enormous amount of new office space -- enough that it could triple its current local workforce -- including at the 107-year-old former main post office complex near Pennsylvania Station, according to the Times.
Apple is expanding to another building, and Google and Amazon are creating corporate campuses, the Times said. In March, Amazon paid about $1 billion for the Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue and has now acquired more than 2 million square feet of office space as well as warehouses across the boroughs.
Although the future of working in Manhattan remains uncertain, especially with the potential of a second wave of infections come wintertime, the tech giants have continued to move forward with growth plans that predated the pandemic.
Amazon announced in August that 2,000 employees would eventually work at the new Fifth Avenue location, expanding its current tech staff of 4,000 by half.
The move came despite a less than warm reception when the company proposed building a headquarters facility in Queens.
In total, Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple have hired more than 2,600 employees in the city so far this year.
Amazon, Apple and Facebook have acquired more than 1.6 million square feet of office space in the same timeframe. Before the pandemic, Google added about 1.7 million square feet of office space, according to the Times.
The companies now have enough new office space to hire another 15,000 employees, The Times reported, and Google is on target to employ 14,000 people in the coming years.
The moves represent a bet by Big Tech that current and future employees will be eager to return to shared workplaces in New York, even though only 12% of workers who were moved out of Manhattan offices managed by commercial real estate firm CBRE during the pandemic have returned so far, the Times noted.
Many employees worry about working in crowded office towers in Midtown and Lower Manhattan, and others have vowed not to come back until a COVID-19 vaccine is available, according to the outlet.
When Big Tech would bring workers to Manhattan office spaces is unclear; all four companies have allowed employees to work remotely.
Prior to the pandemic, the city’s tech sector employed 150,100 people and had added a total of 15,700 jobs in 2018 and 2019, according to the New York state comptroller’s office.
Tech settled in New York more than two decades ago and business has since boomed, especially with the introduction of tech startups.
The Big Apple is now considered an East Coast rival to the West Coast's Silicon Valley, the Times reported.