Big Tech’s appetite for real estate continues to grow

Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Alphabet have purchased 43 properties this year

Google's newest New York City acquisition on the West Side of Manhattan (Cookfox Architects)
Google's newest New York City acquisition on the West Side of Manhattan (Cookfox Architects)


They’re digging their teeth into real estate.

Big Tech’s explosive profits and growth are leading to a boom in real estate acquisitions and developments for companies including Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google’s parent company, Alphabet — collectively known in industry parlance as FAANG.

The five tech titans own or lease terabytes of space across the country, according to the Motley Fool, thanks to their many offices, storefronts, and data and distribution centers.

Leading the way is Alphabet, which Reconomy, a commercial real estate analysis firm with a database of 50 million properties around the country, says owes 343 properties valued at $10.6 billion.

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But Amazon, with its huge warehouses, is taking up the most space with its 24.2 million square feet across the US — a number that is quickly growing.

In the last 10 months, Amazon opened 250 new facilities, the financial website reported, including fulfillment and sorting centers, delivery stations and regional air hubs. Its real estate portfolio also includes office campuses in Seattle, Washington and Arlington, Virginia; a new operations center under construction in Nashville, Tennessee; and 65 Whole Foods brick-and-mortar supermarkets.

And Apple isn’t only planting roots in Silicon Valley. Sure, its 176-acre Apple Park in Cupertino, California, is its most iconic workspace, but the company is set to build a $1.3 billion data center near Waukee, Iowa — the so-called Silicon Prairie — in 2022. While its retail stores may be easy to find, most of those have small footprints in leased space.

Taken together (well, minus Netflix), the companies have purchased 43 properties this year, seven each for Facebook and Apple, 14 for Amazon, and 15 for Alphabet, which last month, plunked down $2.1 billion for 1.3-million-square-feet of waterfront space on the West Side of Manhattan. — the most expensive sale of a single US office building since the start of the pandemic, according to the Wall Street Journal.

[The Motley Fool] — Vince DiMiceli