Amazon.com Inc has agreed to purchase its headquarters in Seattle for $1.6 billion, and also intends to begin construction in 2013 on the first of three brand new buildings that will add yet another three million square feet as technology firms continue to expand and invest in real estate.
The blueprint for Apple Inc’s new 175-acre campus, which is located in Cupertino in California, includes a futuristic style ring-shaped primary building of around 2.8 million square feet, which was designed by the firm of the British architect Norman Foster. Facebook Inc is also to begin an expansion to its headquarters in Menlo Park in California, adding a Frank Gehry designed single story building of around 430,000 square feet.
Expansion by technology firms is helping to drive a nascent rebound in office development in the United States from its lowest rate in more than 50 years, as default rates from construction mortgages fall from their peak in 2010. Technology firms are expanding workforces, with many also wanting to move their employees to customized offices that have amenities that existing buildings may not be able to offer.
Office construction over the course of the last three years has primarily come from three sources: data centers, private projects and government buildings. Facebook, which operates the largest social network in the world, needs the space to move its employees to, given that its workforce has more than tripled in the last three years to 3,976 employees.