Large Tech Firms Making Big Plays in Silicon Valley Real Estate Market

Many Silicon Valley companies are buying property in large quantities in anticipation of future expansion. Facebook, for instance, just purchased Menlo Science and Technology Park, a property in the greater San Francisco area with 21 warehouses and office buildings; it cost the social media giant $395 million. Google has also made waves buy purchasing over $1 billion worth of property in Silicon Valley in 2014, and $2.5 billion total since 2005. With Google’s mass acquisition of property it plans on developing a new 2.5 million square foot headquarters. With the amount of employees each of these companies is adding the amount of property they are acquiring seems less far-fetched. Google hired just short of 6,000 new employees in last year bringing them to 53,600 total employees; Facebook has amassed 9,199 employees by growing at a staggering 45% in 2014.

Part of the reasoning behind the amount of buying these companies are doing is to keep competition from taking root in Silicon Valley. However, competition is now rising for real estate investors and developers in the area. The tech firms seem to be winning this battle according to those in the real industry in Silicon Valley. As stated by chairman of the Silicon Valley and San Francisco developer TMG Partners, Michael Covarrubias, “You don’t want to find out that Google is competing on a building you’re trying to buy—it’s that simple.” The largest exception to the major buying movement in the area is Apple, which made many real estate purchases around five years ago. Apple is currently working on its “spaceship”, a new headquarters being developed on property purchased for around $430 million.

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Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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