Google plans to invest $7 billion in real estate nationwide
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After a pause last year, Google announced Thursday that it will spend $7 billion on real estate in 2021. That money is going to be used to expand and build out space in 19 states.
Some of that is going toward data centers, further building out its cloud business.
But that real estate is also going toward office space – adding room for thousands of hires in cities such as Atlanta and Chicago and opening new offices in Texas and Mississippi.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the investment is part of its ongoing efforts to diversify its workforce both racially and geographically.
Google will be meeting workers where they are, according to Lisa Pruitt, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, who studies the rural urban divide.
“It does permit people who might have an attachment to their Midwestern or Southern state or community, it gives them an opportunity to stay,” Pruitt said.
Investing this much in office space also means the company is expecting workers to go back to the office, said Scott Kessler, an analyst at Third Bridge.
“I think they’re really signaling that there is a tremendous value in having kind of a base of operations where people kind of congregate and work together in person,” he said.
In addition, an expansion like this can build up local goodwill, said CFRA Research tech analyst John Freeman — especially where it’s building new facilities, like in Mississippi and Minnesota.
Google may need to build on those ties, said Mary-Hunter McDonnell, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
“This strategy allows the company to broaden its relationships with different states in a way that might hopefully engender some broader support from a more varied political constituencies.”
Google is facing several lawsuits, and the company is under increased scrutiny from congressional regulators.
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