Yahoo's new NYC office: the old New York Times HQ

Does history repeat itself? Let's hope not.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor
Photo courtesy Adamson Associates

I'm not sure whether we should be worried or amused.

Yahoo, the tech stalwart based in Sunnyvale, Calif., will relocate and consolidate its New York City employees from three disparate locations to the former home of The New York Times.

The newspaper moved out of the building, which it had inhabited for 94 years, in 2007 after complaining that the structure—which was built to accommodate actual printing presses—was too outdated for its digitally-minded newsroom of the future. (It moved into a Renzo Piano-designed glass skyscraper a short walk away.)

Yahoo's move into the building is notable for three reasons.

First, it represents a high-profile (and expensive; this is Times Square, after all) expansion of the company's footprint in the most populous city in the U.S. The company has 500 New York-based employees today; it seeks to grow that to 700, with a strong emphasis on engineers.

Second, the newly-acquired Tumblr microblogging service will not be moving into the building, and will remain at the startup's existing headquarters seven blocks away from ZDNet HQ.

And lastly, Yahoo's decision is a rebuff of the Times' original motive to leave the building behind. The company told the Times' Charles Bagli that it "plans to install the kind of amenities at the former Times building that are common at tech companies, including outdoor terraces and a cafeteria with an extensive menu of free food," in order to attract employees. The irony.

Much ink has been spilled on the subject of New York's growing importance as a technology hub. Though there has been plenty of hype, it's hard to argue with the growing presence of tech's biggest companies in and around Times Square: Microsoft and Facebook are nearby, and Google has 3,000 employees 30 blocks south.

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