Google CEO Sundar Pichai (Credit: Getty images and Google)
OK, Google. Tell me about the multibillion-dollar real estate investment you’re making this year.
The tech giant announced on Wednesday that it plans to spend more than $13 billion in data centers and offices across the U.S., including major expansions in 14 states.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post that the new data centers and offices will create more than 10,000 new construction jobs in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Virginia. By the end of the year, the company will have locations in 24 states and 13 data centers.
In the Midwest, it’s expanding in Chicago and Wisconsin, and building new data centers in Ohio and Nebraska. Google said it will also open its first data center in Nevada, expand in Washington, Oklahoma and South Carolina, as well as build a new office and data center in Texas and new office space in Massachusetts, the latter of which houses one of the largest Google hubs outside of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The announcement comes after Google invested $9 billion in 2018, including $2.5 billion spent on opening or expanding data centers in Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia and Oklahoma.
In December, the company said it plans to invest $1 billion in a new 1.7 million-square-foot in New York City’s Hudson Square. There, Google plans to double the size of its more than 7,000-employee workforce. (And it follows its more $2.4 billion purchase of the Chelsea Market building in the city last year.)
In California, Pichai wrote that the technology company will continue redeveloping the Westside Pavilion and the Spruce Goose Hangar in the Los Angeles area.
The increasing demand for digital storage has pushed investment in the U.S. data center sector to record levels. In 2017, Northern Virginia, Dallas/Fort Worth and Chicago were the top data center markets in the country, according to CBRE. The demand for digital storage centers is expected to continue growing dramatically as driverless vehicles, artificial intelligence and other technological advances require more power supply.
The surge in construction of data centers in the Chicago area alone pushed the industry’s regional vacancy rate up to 11 percent from 2 percent the previous year, according to a report from September.