Following Amazon's controversial plans to build a new headquarters in New York, Google has announced plans to boost its presence in the city with a new $1 billion campus in the West Village.
The new campus, dubbed Google Hudson Square, will take up over 1.7 million square feet of space at 315 and 345 Hudson Street and 550 Washington Street.
The new leases follow Google's recent $2.4 billion purchase of the Manhattan Chelsea Market where it has 7,000 employees. The new campus will give Google space to more than double its headcount in New York over the next decade. Amazon plans to fill its New York City headquarters in Queens with 25,000 employees.
Google expects to start moving into the Hudson Street buildings by 2020, and to the Washington Street building by 2022 after construction is complete. Google Hudson Square will become its main facility for its New York-based activities.
As noted by the New York Times, Google arrived in New York in 2006 with no fanfare, but it has since been criticized for contributing to Chelsea's gentrification, while food vendors claim to have lost sales because of its in-house cafeterias.
To engage the local community the company recently invited local residents into its Eight Avenue building and treated them to lunch at its cafeteria in Chelsea Market.
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"We believe that as our company grows, we have a responsibility to support the communities we call home. That means supporting the infrastructure and services that make our neighborhoods unique places to work, live and play," said Google and Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat in a blogpost.
Porat notes that Google has given more than $150 million in grants to New York non-profits since 2011. She also highlights a partnership with the New City Public Library system to provide free Wi-Fi hotspots to public school students and families without home internet, a $1.5 million donation to the Stonewall National Monument Preservation Project, and programs that support STEM education.
Last week Apple announced it was also building a new $1bn campus - in Austin, Texas.
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