Silicon Valley is becoming Silicon Nation. Google announced Monday it will spend more than $1 billion to build a new office complex in New York City that will allow the internet search giant to double the number of people it employs there. It is the tech industry's latest major expansion beyond the Seattle-San Francisco Bay corridor, the AP reports. It follows recent steps by Amazon and Apple to set up large operations well outside their home turf. Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., will fashion a complex of more than 1.7 million square feet along the Hudson River in the city's West Village neighborhood, Ruth Porat, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said in a blog post. The company already employs around 7,000 people in the city.
Tech companies are "coming to the realization that the Bay Area, which has traditionally been the major center of tech activity in the US, is getting expensive and crowded," says Andrew Bartels, principal analyst at Forrester Research. "A lot of vendors are coming to the realization that 'we can probably find top talent elsewhere at a more affordable costs, and perhaps a better style of life for employees who may be struggling to make ends meet,'" he says. Porat telegraphed Google's plans to double down in New York a month ago during a technology conference. "Not everybody—big surprise—wants to live in Silicon Valley, so we want to make sure we have the opportunity to build vibrant centers across the country," she said. (Protesters left anti-Amazon graffiti in one of the firm's New York buildings.)