Facebook on Monday agreed to lease nearly all of the office space in the mammoth 107-year-old James A. Farley Building in Midtown Manhattan, cementing New York City as a growing global technology hub and reaffirming a major corporation’s commitment to an urban office-centric culture despite the pandemic.
With the deal to take the 730,000 square feet of space, Facebook has acquired more than 2.2 million square feet of office space in the city for thousands of employees in less than a year, all of it on Manhattan’s West Side between Pennsylvania Station and the Hudson River.
Apple, Amazon and Google all lease space in the same area, which has helped turn it into an emerging tech corridor.
The timing of the deal’s announcement seemed somewhat of a surprise because Facebook has given most of its employees the option of working from home during the pandemic.
New York’s economy has been cratered by the outbreak, and even as the virus has been contained and the city is slowly reopening, many companies have told their employees not to return to their offices for the rest of the year if not longer.
Much of Manhattan’s business district remains a virtual ghost town with only a fraction of workers filling office towers.
Before the pandemic, Facebook had 2,900 employees in its New York City offices. The new office space would allow Facebook to move another 8,500 workers to the city.
“Facebook’s commitment is a further testament to New York City’s extraordinary talent and reinforces New York’s position as the nation’s second tech hub,” said Steven Roth, the chief executive of Vornado, which owns majority of the property, also known as the Farley Post Office.
A spokeswoman for Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.