Why new tech palaces may signal impending doom for Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook

Financial Post | Business

SEATTLE/SAN FRANCISCO — While much of corporate America is retrenching on the real estate front, the four most influential technology companies in America are each planning headquarters that could win a Pritzker Architecture Prize for hubris.

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Steve Jobs unveiled his vision for a new 3.1 million square foot Apple Campus, with a central facility shaped like a giant spaceship, that could house as many as 12,000 employees in Cupertino, the California city that has always been home to the world’s largest technology company.

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Amazon.com last week revealed plans for three verdant bubbles in downtown Seattle, joining Apple’s circular “spaceship,” Facebook’s Frank Gehry-designed open-office complex and a new Googleplex on the list of planned trophy offices.

“It signals a desire, a statement, to say that we’re special, we’re different. We have changed the world and we are…

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