Two of the world’s biggest tech companies are locked in a fresh fight for space in a newly renovated New York landmark.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook is facing off with Tim Cook’s Apple over posh Manhattan office digs slated to open next year inside a grandiose former post office.
As the New York Post exclusively reported in September, Mr Zuckerberg’s social media company has been in talks to take over all 68,748 square metres of office space being built in the former James A. Farley Post Office — a stately all-white structure located across from Madison Square Garden.
Only Apple, which toured the Farley renovation earlier this year, had suddenly decided it, too, wanted all four floors of Farley’s office space being developed by Vornado Realty Trust — including a new floor being built on the roof that would be surrounded by gardens, sources said.
Applications by the duelling tech giants have posed a dilemma for Vornado’s street-savvy chairman, Steve Roth, who is also Facebook’s landlord at 770 Broadway, where the tech giant leases 70,420 square metres. As one source with knowledge of the dilemma explained, Apple — which carries a $1.069 trillion market capitalisation, or more than double that of Facebook — “has better credit”.
Despite Apple’s girth, industry sources say Mr Roth appears to be leaning towards Facebook, who he has worked with at the 770 Broadway location since 2013.
Apple also had feelers out at another Manhattan post office redevelopment project, known as Morgan North, in case Farley fell through, sources said.
The companies did not immediately return requests for comment but have stated in the past they won’t discuss ongoing negotiations for office space.
As the Post previously reported, Facebook’s interest in Farley derailed Japanese advertising firm Dentsu from its play to take over the fourth floor of the newly renovated post office, which was built in 1912 along with the original Pennsylvania Station. Dentsu was now negotiating with developer Tishman Speyer for office space at Morgan North, bounded between Eighth and Ninth avenues and between 29th and 30th streets, sources said.
Amazon, Vornado’s tenant at 7 West 34th St, was also in the mix as it had also been discussing leasing 9290 square metres at Farley with access to loading docks for a distribution facility it had been seeking near the West Side Highway.
After Facebook entered the picture, Amazon also turned to the Morgan redevelopment, which is slated to open in 2021, sources said.
If Apple gets bumped from Farley, it will likely trump the other companies also shopping for space there.
“It changes every week,” griped one broker. “Negotiations with tech companies are a slog and just take a long time,” said another source.
The Farley building, which occupies an entire city block at 390 Ninth Ave between West 30th and 33rd streets, was designated a New York City landmark in 1966. The renovation will result in a new train hall under the building and restaurants and shops on the ground floor and lower levels.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission