The tech industry in America has largely been centralized on the West Coast. From Microsoft’s Redwood headquarters to the hub of activity in Silicon Valley, the startups that define the future of the world have faced the Pacific. But that could be changing. More and more cities occupying the center of the country have become major centers of activity for tech startups, and some signs indicate that New York City could finally have its breakout moment with the tech world. First, there was the announcement that Amazon would be building a second headquarters in New York City. And it appears that tech giant Apple could be following suit.
Apple is reportedly on the verge of closing a deal that would give them 60,000 square feet of space in Manhattan. The new office would occupy Hudson Yards, a building that’s home to a number of high profile tenants. The hedge fund Third Point Management and Point72 Asset Management both occupy spaces within the property.
But Apple has yet to officially confirm their interest in the building, and recent complications with the Amazon deal could potentially throw a spanner in the works. Amazon finally pulled out of their negotiations with the city of New York after a wellspring of public animosity. While Amazon’s HQ2 would have brought 25,000 jobs to Queen, it would have come at the expense of taxpayer money. Amazon would have received roughly $3 billion in tax breaks from the city and state for the privilege of bringing their business to New York. And while the size of those tax breaks stand out from the pack, they aren’t the only business benefitting from such sweetheart deals. Competition for job creators has created a system where municipal and state governments are increasingly competitive with the deals they offer businesses who are thinking about relocating or expanding into their territory, and the push against Amazon indicated that New Yorkers may be sick of the benefits offered to these businesses.
But how that could potentially affect Apple’s decisions is still up in the air. They have yet to respond to the report, which means that any current government negotiations that could potentially be in place would be taking place in private. And rumor is that Apple is eyeing retail space in Manhattan as well. Until something official is announced, it will be hard to understand how serious this potential land deal is or how expansive it is in scope.