Search engine giant Google is boosting its investment in new commercial real estate facilities by more than $7 billion this year, a move that bodes well for office and data center developers across the country.
Some of the building already is under construction in markets including Chicago and Houston, while other projects are still in blueprints in places such as Rochester, Minnesota, or Portland, Oregon. In California, Google’s home state, the company is unleashing $1 billion to expand office space and meet its pledge to support affordable housing.
In all, Google plans to make its mark in 19 states, benefiting many cities looking to build a tech presence partly because of the level of worker experience, brainpower and income it attracts. That, in turn, increases local economies and tax revenue. Some companies have been making investments as the pandemic has reduced demand and prices for various types of commercial real estate.
The outlays, coming a year after the Mountain View, California-based company pulled in the spending reins as the COVID-19 pandemic was edging its way throughout the United States, underscore Google’s faith in an economic rebound. Technology companies benefited financially from increased demand during the pandemic as more people lived, worked and spent their recreational time online.
“Google wants to be a part of that recovery,” CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog announcement. The investment, which also will create at least 10,000 new full-time jobs, is helping cities new to Google and those already established to enhance their tech footprints.
Such a deep investment also gives hope to office property owners and landlords who have seen many companies shrink office space needs as the work-from-home trend takes hold.
“Coming together in person to collaborate and build community is core to Google’s culture, and it will be an important part of our future,” Pichai said.
“We continue to make significant investments in our offices around the country,” he said. “Outside of the Bay Area, we’ll keep growing our offices across the U.S., including plans to add thousands of roles in Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York.”
In Atlanta, for example, Google will anchor one of the largest office towers built there since the Great Recession. The tech giant will pour more dollars into a data center in South Carolina and plans to establish its newest cloud engineering site in Durham, North Carolina. The first U.S. Google Operations Center is headed for Southaven, Mississippi, and a new office building will open in Reston, Virginia, while the company also expands its Loudon County data center in Virginia and those in Nevada and Texas, which are expected to be in full operations this year.
“Our data centers are what powers your searches, emails, photos and the maps that help you find the fastest way home; they’re also important to the fabric of local communities, from providing opportunities for supply chain partners and small businesses to supporting distance learning in South Carolina and Nevada,” Pichai said.
“Not only will these investments enable us to create new opportunities in the places where we operate; they’ll also make it possible to provide products and services that help boost economic recovery,” he said.
Last year, Google Search, Google Play, YouTube and Google advertising tools pumped $426 billion of economic activity into more than 2 million American businesses, nonprofits, publishers, creators and developers, according to the firm’s 2020 U.S. economic impact report.