October 29, 2020

Manhattan Emptied Out During the Pandemic. But Big Tech Is Moving In.

The larger companies have established a tech corridor on Manhattan’s West Side, stretching from West 34th Street in Midtown south to the World Trade Center area in Lower Manhattan.

The focus of the tech companies in New York has shifted from marketing and sales departments to teams that mirror those in Silicon Valley. They have recruited engineers and developers from local and regional universities and filled some roles with West Coast employees who want to decamp to New York City.

For every Big Tech company in the city, there are numerous smaller but still sizable firms, including Salesforce, LinkedIn, Spotify and ZocDoc. Microsoft, another tech giant, has a modest presence in offices near Times Square.

Before 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. Most of the new jobs were in fields like software, data processing and internet publishing.

The pace of hiring is expected to keep climbing.

In August, when Facebook grabbed all the office space at the James A. Farley Building near Pennsylvania Station, it cemented Manhattan’s West Side as its East Coast campus.

The company said it leased 730,000 square feet at the old post office in part because of its cavernous layout — a rarity among New York City buildings — which mimics the large open areas at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. When a renovation is completed next year, the building will be filled with engineers.

“The floor plan will allow for multiple teams to be housed on those floors,” said Jamila Reeves, a company spokeswoman, “and we don’t necessarily have to break folks up.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/nyregion/big-tech-nyc-office-space.html

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