Silicon Valley firms, long averse to politics, are going to Washington. The tech sector has grown too big for US politicians to ignore. Many lawmakers are now keen to regulate the sector (membership) following a series of scandals and slights.
The Valley, accordingly, has been ramping up its lobbying efforts in the US capital and its surrounds. The real estate firm CBRE says tech’s presence in the area is growing at a record pace. Alphabet and Facebook, in particular, have leased large offices. As of the end of last year, Silicon Valley-based tech firms were collectively leasing 1.2 million square feet in the area, up sharply from 2014, when the figure was under 360,000.
Last year was the most active so far, accounting for about 300,000 sq ft of new leases. And only the best for tech: CBRE says 76% of the leases are premium Class A spaces—prestigious locales and amenities—and 21% are in even more highly coveted “trophy-grade” buildings, with several firms in downtown and suburban locations.