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New Union Square Tech Hub Aims To Give Cali A Run For Its Money

New renderings for the Union Square tech hub on E 14th street shows massive glassy building.

By Jeff Vasishta February 22, 2017
Rendering courtesy of the City of New York, Office of the Mayor

Some cities are synonymous with certain things. Chicago has the Blues, Philly has the cheese stake. But New York, it seems, like the movie “Split”, has multiple personas. Get ready to add another one to the list—Tech hub.

Renderings, released last Friday, show the new Union Square Tech Hub, which will touch at the PC Richards building on East 14th Street. The only mystery surrounding the futuristic glassy colossus is exactly when it will open. City officials couldn’t nail down a specific date and PC Richards staff seemed unaware exactly when their store would close. The Mayor’s office only said they hoped to break ground in 2018 and be complete in 2020. The Union Square Tech Hub is expected to cost $250 million

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When it does open, it hopes New Yorkers will hope to give Silicon Valley a run for its money. The 258,000-square-foot center at 124 East 14th Street will include a job-training facility and flexible workspace for local startups, the mayor’s office said.

“This new hub will be the front-door for tech in New York City,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “People searching for jobs, training or the resources to start a company will have a place to come to connect and get support.” The project is expected to generate 600 jobs in the tech industry and 800 in construction, officials said.

New York has gradually been gaining a stellar reputation for tech start ups. It makes sense. It’s the most vibrant, diverse city in the country. Venture capital poured into the Big Apple with the hopes of capturing the NYC zeitgiest and channeling it into something magical. Real estate tech, food-tech, fintech, digital media and healthcare tech industries are  just some of the cutting edge businesses all based in Gotham. There are many more with with big expectations. In fact, NYC-based companies received $4.6 billion in venture capital funding in 2014, a 91-percent increase from 2011. The city’s tech sector economy is estimated at $125 billion.

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Both in terms of its history and well-connected location, Union Square seems the right place for a tech hub. While box-chain stores and big businesses have taken up residence in recent years, the young, creative, artistic spirit of the area will always pervade because of its close proximity to students of NYU, The New School and more. Soho’s art galleries and countless boutique clothes stores are nearby.

For-profit, non-profit and city organizations are coming together to foster development programs. Organizations involved include the New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education, General Assembly, Per Scholas, FedCap, Code to Work and Coalition for Queens.

The hub will be anchored by Civic Hall, a work and event space for community organizations, tech companies, government agencies and entrepreneurs, officials said.

Watch out, Northern California, New York’s taking its slice of the tech pie.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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