A company that made a fairly significant commitment in May to remote work going forward just made a fairly significant real estate commitment this week.
Vornado Realty Trust said this week that Facebook leased all 730,000 square feet of office space in The Farley Building, formerly the James A. Farley Post Office, in Manhattan.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the company’s weekly town hall meeting May 21, which was publicly livestreamed, that Facebook would be the “most forward-leaning company on remote work on our scale,” adding that 95% of its work force would continue to work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, and that Facebook would begin recruiting employees without mandating that they can work from any of its offices.
“It doesn’t make sense to constrain all of our hiring to people who live near offices we’re not going to be in anyway,” he said during the town hall.
Facebook would not address its remote working agenda and how its big New York real estate move fit in. Spokesperson Bjorn Trowery would only say, “Facebook first joined New York’s vibrant business and tech community in 2007. Since that time, we’ve grown and expanded our presence throughout the city. The Farley Building will further anchor our New York footprint and create a dedicated hub for our tech and engineering teams for years to come.”
Vornado pointed out that The Farley Building occupies a double-wide block between 31st and 33rd Streets and stretching from 8th to 9th Avenues, and it is located adjacent to major transportation hub Penn Station and across the street from iconic arena Madison Square Garden.
The company added that the Beaux Arts New York City landmark was designed by McKim, Mead & White, and it features large floorplates that offer a horizontal campus that is unique to Manhattan and more similar to tech company facilities in Silicon Valley.
Vornado chairman and CEO Steven Roth said in a statement, “We are delighted to welcome Facebook to The Farley Building, a property like no other in New York City. Facebook’s commitment to Farley expands our long-standing relationship and advances our vision for the Penn District, the new epicenter of Manhattan. Facebook’s commitment is a further testament to New York City’s extraordinary talent and reinforces New York’s position as the nation’s second tech hub.”