The biggest U.S. tech companies are providing a jolt to the slumbering commercial real-estate business, emerging as major tenants and acquirers of office and other space while many nontech firms are trying to tear up their leases.
Five of the biggest property owners in the tech industry— Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc., Apple Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Microsoft Corp. —together occupy around 589 million square feet of U.S. real estate, according to CoStar Group . That is more than all of the office space in New York City, or the equivalent to about 220 Empire State Buildings. It marks a fivefold increase from a decade ago.
Tech’s soaring real-estate demand has been mostly a boon for cities and towns, though it has also fueled some concerns over rising rents and gentrification. Big Tech’s arrival usually brings an influx of well-paid employees and fills city coffers with property-tax revenue. Their …