Silicon Valley has been the “place to be” for technology companies. But in recent years another well-known metropolis has made significant strides towards becoming a technology hotspot—New York City. Currently, tech titans Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google either have large offices along the Hudson River. From Midtown to Lower Manhattan, they have been looking for new space there in recent months according to The New York Times. The companies expect to have approximately 20,000 employees in New York by 2022.
Several cities in the United States have tried to rival Silicon Valley. While New York is not close to overtaking the Bay Area as the country’s tech leader, it continues to compete for technology companies and talent.
Why New York is becoming a major tech player
New York has become another tech destination due to its role in transforming the industries. The industry has a stronghold on the city’s economic landscape, according to The New York Times. Because of those changes, these industries need software engineers and other skilled workers more than they’ve had to before.
Technology companies are gravitating towards to New York to search its deep talent pool. They can entice employees who want to work in city’s diverse economy instead of tech-dominated spaces on the West Coast. New York is also closer to Europe, which is an important market.
“For a long time, if you lived in the broader tech sector, there was inertia that brought you to Silicon Valley,” Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech: NYC, told The New York Times. “So many people wanted to live here and move here, but felt the jobs weren’t here. Now the jobs are here.”
New York also offers more professional diversity than Silicon Valley. A tech adviser and investor Oren Michels told The New York Times that. The city is an ideal location for tech employees who don’t always want to be around people that work in the same industry.
“You have younger engineers and those sorts of people who frankly want to live in New York City because it’s a more interesting and fun place to live,” Michels said. “San Francisco is turning into a company town and the company is tech, both professionally and personally.”
Hudson Yards—technology hub
Facebook currently employees 2,900 people in New York, The New York Times reports. The social media company signed a lease for 1.5 million square ft at Hudson Yards, spread out over three buildings. The agreement allows Facebook an option to assume another several hundred square feet in the development. Initially, Facebook had interest in a Madison Avenue property, according to sources. However, executives saw Hudson Yards’ amenities and subway proximity after a facility tour and became extremely impressed.
“It’s hard to predict future growth, but we believe New York is a vibrant market with a tremendous pool of talent,” Facebook spokeswoman Jamila Reeves said.
Meanwhile, Amazon also recently signed a 350,000 square foot lease at a building near Hudson Yards that will hold 1,500 employees. LinkedIn, which resides not too far away in the Empire State Building, recently announced its plans to expand to four more floors. According to The New York Times, Apple has toured buildings in the Hudson Yards area, but has yet to so sign any deals.
What tech companies’ NYC presence means for CRE
Today, almost any business will want to know how reliable a building’s wireless network is before it signs a lease, regardless of the industry. These technology companies moving to New York are no different. Reliable wireless connectivity likely matters more to them than most other industries. If tech workers can’t use their mobile devices or connect to the Internet because of poor connectivity, their business will suffer. No technology company will want to run the risk of their network going down, even for a second. If they don’t think they can count on your wireless network, they’re not going to sign a lease.
Location is the only thing that matters to prospective tenants as much as wireless connectivity. New York CRE owners already have a desirable location in tech companies’ eyes. If they can ensure a reliable wireless network, they’ll have no difficulty attracting, and retaining, these companies. Many of these companies once only considered Silicon Valley home.