Alphabet Inc.’s GOOGL 0.31% Google announced a major real-estate expansion in New York City that will make the company one of the city’s largest commercial tenants and add thousands of jobs in coming years.
In a blog post Monday, Google said it would lease a large office building at 550 Washington St. in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood and make it the centerpiece of its new 1.7 million-square-foot Hudson Square Campus. Google plans to invest $1 billion in capital improvements to the campus, which will also include two nearby buildings at 315 and 345 Hudson Street.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month on the company’s New York expansion plans, including that it was in talks to lease or buy the St. John’s Terminal space at 550 Washington St. Several days after publication, Google finance chief Ruth Porat said the internet giant plans to double its New York-based workforce to more than 14,000 employees over the next decade.
The expansion puts Google’s ambitions for the city on par with tech rival Amazon.com Inc., which recently selected New York as one of two East Coast locations for major satellite offices expected to employ 25,000 new workers each by 2028. Unlike Amazon, which pitted cities against each other in a contest for favorable tax breaks and incentives, Google has favored a quieter approach to expansion, saying it hadn’t pursued incentives from New York.
Tech companies are racing into cities beyond the industry’s traditional centers on the West Coast. Google, which recently opened new facilities in Detroit and Los Angeles, has said its workforce is growing faster outside Silicon Valley than inside of it. Apple Inc. last week said it plans to invest $1 billion to build a second campus in Austin, Texas, for 5,000 employees.
William Floyd, Google’s director of public policy and government relations, said in an interview that the company’s plan to add 7,000 staff in New York over the next 10 years is “a conservative estimate.” The company has outpaced every previous growth estimate it has set in the city, he said.
Indeed, Google’s real estate empire in the city is expected to encompass nearly 7 million square feet of owned or leased office space, enough for more than 46,000 total employees, based on the industry standard of 150 square feet per employee. That estimate includes buildings where Google still leases space to other tenants as well as plans to expand existing properties.
Amazon has announced plans to occupy 4 million to 8 million square feet of office space in the New York City area. The company has drawn criticism for extracting $3 billion in tax incentives and grants from the state and city as part of its negotiations to build a campus in the Long Island City neighborhood.
Google is on track to be among the largest corporate office tenants in Manhattan. WeWork Cos. recently passed JPMorgan Chase & Co. to become the largest such occupier of office space in Manhattan, with 5.3 million square feet of space rented or owned, according to real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield .
Google opened its first New York office in 2000 and moved into a large building at 111 Eighth Ave. in 2006. That property, which Google bought for $1.9 billion in 2010, has remained its primary office in the city while it has scooped up neighboring office buildings across the street at Chelsea Market, on 10th Avenue, and at Pier 57—a straight line west from Eighth Avenue to the Hudson River.
Some Google employees will begin working in the Hudson Street buildings when they open in 2020, followed by more staff in the St. John’s Terminal building after it is completed in 2022, the company said. The Hudson Square Campus will become a hub of Google’s global sales operation, Mr. Floyd said.
—Eliot Brown contributed to this article.
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