Welcome to the Future: Bigger, Better & More Beautiful Buildings
The biggest names in tech and innovation are in the news again. This time it’s not for a new mobile app, a changed algorithm, a well compensated CEO or how they lavish upon their collaborative, organic kale and sushi loving employees.
Some of the world’s best known tech brands are in the headlines for proposals to build giant, sprawling, over the top cool office compounds – monuments, which somehow appear to pay homage to the immensity of the impact they are having on the world today.
The New Workspace
Companies including Facebook, Google, Apple, Samsung and Salesforce are creating wonderfully innovative and futuristic offices in Silicon Valley to accommodate their expanding workforce, while making pronounced statements about what new workspaces should look like.
Forbes Magazine recently published a very informative article on this new building trend, which features a variety of renderings depicting these new additions to the ever malleable and transformative suburban Northern California landscape.
Insulated, Self Contained Campus Environments
Among other industry insiders, reporter Erin Carlyle interviewed Cushman & Wakefield’s Executive Director and broker JD Lumpkin, who works out of the firm’s San Francisco office. When asked about his take on the reasons that the main tech players are planning these futuristic compounds in the South Bay, as opposed to San Francisco, he responded: “In the Valley, companies have been able to complete very insulated, self-contained campus environments. Apple and Facebook for cultural reasons–and certainly with Apple, for secrecy reasons–they’ve never looked in the City.”
Ms. Carlyle’s article, which has already enjoyed 29,577 pageviews, is featured below. Thank you for being # 29,578.
By Erin Carlyle
In Menlo Park, Calif., Facebook employees are reporting to work in a massive new headquarters with a 9-acre roof park. Sixteen miles southeast in Cupertino, Apple’s new, 2.8 million-square-foot headquarters is rising from the earth like a giant spaceship.
Halfway between these two sprawling outposts, Google is planning a futuristic new home in Mountain View, complete with an indoor bike track, and a wavy, translucent rooftop. Office building is back—and on the West Coast, tech companies are playing a sizable role. “Tech-related firms right now have the money and they have the desire to go ahead with these signature projects,” says Robert A. Murray, chief economist at Dodge Data & Analytics. “We’re seeing a market which continues to benefit from improving market fundamentals and a lot of investor interest.”
After peaking at 218 million square feet in 2007, starts on new office construction in the U.S. slumped to 57 million square feet in 2010, according to Dodge. (Starts are defined as groundbreakings on new office buildings and additions to existing buildings.)
Since then starts have been steadily inching up to reach 106 million square feet in 2014, with 129 million square feet projected for 2015. In dollar terms, new office starts peaked at $32.6 billion in 2007, bottomed out at $16.9 billion in 2010, and are expected to overtake the 2007 high by the end of this year.