Big Tech firms led office leasing in 2020

Seattle, Manhattan biggest markets for tech companies

National /
Apr.April 02, 2021 02:30 PM
From left: Vornado Realty Trust’s 11 Penn Plaza and Apple’s Tim Cook, The Farley Post Office building and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Durst Organization’s One Five One and ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming (Getty, VNO, SOM, Durst)

From left: Vornado Realty Trust’s 11 Penn Plaza and Apple’s Tim Cook, The Farley Post Office building and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Durst Organization’s One Five One and ByteDance CEO Zhang Yiming (Getty, VNO, SOM, Durst)

Big Tech keeps getting bigger, and the office footprint of the companies in the sector is keeping pace.

Tech firms leased more office space than any other industry last year, according to CBRE’s latest TechInsights report. In total, the tech sector took about 26 million square feet in 2020, which accounted for 17 percent of total office leases. Tech has dominated as the top sector for office leasing since 2013, according to the report.

Still, leasing was down from 2019 levels — in the tech sector, by 48 percent, and throughout the nationwide office market, by 36 percent.

Seattle was the top location for tech firms, with 14 leases signed totaling approximately 3.4 million square feet — nearly double the next biggest market on the list, Manhattan, with 1.8 million square feet in new leases. The other major markets that rounded out the top five were Washington D.C., Atlanta and Austin. Software companies, e-commerce and firms providing business services took the most space.

In Manhattan, social media companies led the pack thanks to Facebook’s 730,000-square-foot lease at the Farley Post Office building and TikTok’s 232,000-square-foot deal at the Durst Organization’s One Five One, formerly known as Four Times Square. TikTok is owned by China’s ByteDance.

Other notable tech leases in Manhattan in 2020 include Apple’s sublease deals at Vornado Realty Trust’s 11 Penn Plaza. The Cupertino, California-based company initially signed a 220,000-square-foot sublease in February 2020 and added 116,000 square feet to that in November.





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