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Tech Giants Bank on Growth, Acquire More Space

To provide room for long-term expansion, companies like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are buying up even more Bay Area real estate. Their flush cash reserves have them nudging out the traditional development and investment crowd.
March 24, 2015, 9am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Tech giants including Google and Facebook are engaged in a Silicon Valley land grab. From the article: "The companies' newfound hunger for real estate offers a glimpse into their remarkable ambitions for expansion. Google reported it grew by about 5,800 employees world-wide in 2014, bringing the total to 53,600. Facebook boosted its head count by 45% last year to 9,199, growth it expects to continue."

Concentrated mainly in the Bay Area, new commercial and industrial spaces will give the companies ample room for future expansion. Their land banking has introduced a new dynamic into the local market. "The flurry of acquisitions is reshaping the landscape of the competitive world of Silicon Valley property, with tech companies often out-competing the developers and investment firms that traditionally dominate the sector."

With the exception of Apple, currently building a new headquarters in Cupertino, CA, most of the major tech firms actively acquired real estate in 2014. They expect long-term growth: "The tech giants have a leg up on developers and investors because they can tap their enormous piles of cash. They are happy to buy property now and then collect rent, perhaps for years, while they plot their expansions."

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Published on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 in The Wall Street Journal
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