Tech giants occupy nearly 600M-sf of US real estate
According to data from the CoStar Group, the five largest US tech companies – Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet – have five-folded their occupancy levels from 10 years ago. The firms now collectively occupy 589 million square feet across the US. Interestingly the firms continued the expansion of their real estate holdings in 2020 by more than 25% (the steepest increase over the last 10 years) and even outpace the AUM of large REITs. Amazon, for example, owned $1 billion of real estate assets in 2010 and today owns $39.2 billion. The reason why tech firms prefer buying office buildings, instead of leasing them, is the control over the building, and the appreciation of non-current assets.
Creating Safe Retail Environments
The pandemic has shown retail owners and operators that they need the right tools to react to tail-events, such as pandemics. Over the last 9 months, outdoor space has been of a great advantage, when customers needed social distance from one another. Doug Schneider, Vice-President at Bayer Properties, says that their firms has “had restaurants expand into the parking lot if we can give them more space to spread out. That can help drive sales and make customers feel more comfortable.” and that “it’s important that a retailer demonstrates that they are taking a customer’s safety into consideration, and they are doing whatever they can to make sure that that continues to be a case.”