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Google to expand New York City presence with $1 billion campus

Just weeks after Amazon announced plans to build a new campus in New York City, Google has revealed its own intention to increase its presence there.

The web giant said this week it’ll be investing $1 billion to build a new campus in Lower Manhattan called Google Hudson Square that takes in two sites on Hudson Street and one on Washington Street (pictured above).

Google’s new office space will cover more than 1.7 million square feet and enable it to double its current New York City workforce, taking it to 14,000.

Announcing the plan in a blog post, Ruth Porat, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Google parent Alphabet, said New York City was an attractive location in part because of its pool of high-skilled workers.

“When we came to New York City almost two decades ago, it was our first office outside of California,” Porat said. “It’s now home to more than 7,000 employees, speaking 50 languages, working on a broad range of teams … 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.”

The executive noted that in March this year the company also announced the $2.4 billion purchase of the Manhattan Chelsea Market about a mile north of Hudson Square, and also revealed plans to lease additional space at nearby Pier 57.

Google is aiming to move into the two Hudson Street buildings by 2020, followed by the Washington Street location in 2022 once the building is complete.

Keen to support the communities where it sets up shop, Porat promised her company will continue to invest in a range of local projects linked to improving infrastructure and services. But local news site The Villager pointed out that there’s some concern among locals about the impact of Google’s expansion in Manhattan, with fears focusing on potential traffic congestion and other disruption.

Google said that at the current time it’s growing faster outside San Francisco’s Bay Area — where it’s headquartered — than within it. This year alone, the company has opened new offices and data centers in locations that include Detroit, Los Angeles, Tennessee, Alabama, and Boulder, Colorado.

The move by Google to significantly expand its presence far beyond its main base mirrors recent announcements by other tech giants. California-based Apple, for example, last week unveiled a $1-billion investment for a new campus in Austin, Texas, while Washington-based Amazon recently selected New York City as the location for a new hub, which will employ as many as 25,000 people.

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Trevor Mogg
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