Google & Amazon turn New York into the Silicon Valley of the East
While the city waits to see if it has been chosen as the site for the second headquarters of the company of Jeff Bezos, Google is close to reaching an agreement for USD 2,400 million to add a new building to its campus in Manhattan.
While New York City waits to see if it has been chosen as the site for Amazon’s second headquarters , the recent moves by another technology giant, Google , to expand its presence in the city are helping to legitimize the claim of New York to become the “Silicon Valley of the East”.
As reported by the real estate publication The Real Deal , Google is close to reaching an agreement for USD 2,400 million to add a historic building in the Meatpacking District to its already substantial campus in New York. If the purchase is confirmed, it would be one of the most expensive real estate transactions in the history of the city.
The building, a former Nabisco factory that stretches one block and is called Chelsea Market , is located across the street from the company’s current headquarters in Manhattan, a huge art deco terminal that also occupies a block the city.
The expansion of the company coincides with the projects of other technology leaders, such as Amazon, Facebook and Spotify, to settle in the financial district.
In addition to including the city among the 20 finalists to build its second headquarters, Amazon recently signed an agreement to move 2,000 employees to a building in western Manhattan previously occupied by The Associated Press .
New York has been launching as an alternative to Silicon Valley for years. A report by state auditor Thomas DiNapoli found that the city had 7,600 technology businesses in 2016, an increase of 23% since 2010 . According to their data, the average salary of employees in the technology industry was USD 147,300 per year.
Julie Samuels , executive director of Tech: NYC, a business association of technology companies in New York, said the presence of large companies such as Google and Amazon has created “a robust ecosystem” , where young engineers and others move to New York to work for large companies and then leave after a few years to start their own startups .
According to Tasso Argyros, founder of ActionIQ, “one of the best things that happened to New York was when Google opened its offices here.”
Argyros, who lived in Silicon Valley, said his colleagues thought he was “a little crazy” when he moved to the Big Apple in 2013.
But as his big data and marketing company seeks to attract big companies, it has been useful to move to a city with a high concentration of Fortune 500 companies.
In addition, unlike Silicon Valley, the other great advantage of the city is that technology is not the only thing at stake. “There is a bit of group thinking in Silicon Valley, there are a lot of people who have similar jobs and read similar things, but New York is too big to be dominated by a single industry, ” Argyros said.