A recent report from the New York Times claims that Silicon Valley’s reputation as the home of major tech firms may soon be threatened as many companies open offices in New York City.
In a recent article titled “Silicon Valley’s Newest Rival: The Banks of the Hudson,” the New York Times outlines how San Francisco’s Silicon Valley may no longer be the primary home of major tech firms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple as the tech giants continue to grow their operations in New York City.
The New York Times writes:
Facebook’s push to accommodate its booming operations is part of a rush by the West Coast technology giants to expand in New York City. The rapid growth is turning a broad swath of Manhattan into one of the world’s most vibrant tech corridors.
Four companies — Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — already have big offices along the Hudson River, from Midtown to Lower Manhattan, or have been hunting for new ones in recent months, often competing with one another for the same space.
In all, the companies are expected to have roughly 20,000 workers in New York by 2022.
Part of the reason for the rise in popularity of New York for these companies is the rapid growth of these tech firms. As they employ more people, the firms need to find more locations for office space and various facilities, and where better to place a few thousand employees than in one of the most iconic cities in America.
“For a long time, if you lived in the broader tech sector, there was inertia that brought you to Silicon Valley,” said Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech: NYC, a nonprofit industry group. “So many people wanted to live here and move here, but felt the jobs weren’t here. Now the jobs are here.”
Google has grown so quickly and is so squeezed for space that it is temporarily leasing two buildings until a much larger development in Manhattan near the Holland Tunnel, St. John’s Terminal, is ready in 2022.
But not everyone is happy with the sudden influx of workers into the city. Many New York residents are reportedly angered by the increase in rents due to the increasing number of high paid tech workers arriving in the city.
The four big tech companies “attract thousands of out-of-state employees with advanced degrees and work experience, and drive unprecedented influxes in luxury rentals, rent hikes, and the flipping of buildings and private homes,” said Kiana Davis, a policy analyst at the Urban Justice Center.
“It should go without saying,’’ she added, “that middle-income, low-wage, poor and unemployed residents in these cities cannot access the luxury housing market nor the rising rents and have been driven out of their communities as a result.”