Google on Tuesday announced it would spend $2.1 billion to buy a sprawling Manhattan office building on the Hudson River waterfront, further cementing the tech giant’s rapidly expanding presence in New York City and providing a jolt of optimism for a city lashed by the pandemic and the shift to remote work.
The purchase price of the building, the St. John’s Terminal, is one of the largest transactions for a building in the United States in recent years and comes after Google has purchased other large properties in Manhattan, piecing together a sizable East Coast campus for the company.
Even before the pandemic, the four firms that make up so-called Big Tech — Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook — had rapidly grown their operations and work force in New York. Their expansions during the pandemic have been one of the few bright spots for the city as it tries to mount an economic recovery in the pandemic.
Google was already leasing the 1.3 million square-foot property. The company has 12,000 corporate employees in New York City — one of its largest satellite offices outside its California headquarters — and said on Tuesday it planned to hire another 2,000 workers in the city in the coming years.
The technology company has said it would allow employees to work remotely in a hybrid arrangement even after the pandemic and recently postponed its return-to-office plans to early 2022 because of the highly contagious Delta variant.
“As Google moves toward a more flexible hybrid approach to work, coming together in person to collaborate and build community will remain an important part of our future,” Google said in a blog post announcing the news, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.