In 2019 JPMorgan, America’s largest bank by assets will start the development of a “new fintech campus” in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, as part of the bank’s long-term plan to further embrace fintech.
The campus for over 1000 employees will be set in prime commercial real estate wedged between Google and Facebook on a plot of land that was once the home of American global aerospace, defense, and security company Lockheed Martin at Stanford Research Park.
It is no surprise that one-time crypto critic, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has announced the bank’s intended move into Silicon Valley, given comments in the bank’s most recent shareholders letter which outlined where the bank was moving in terms of its involvement in new technologies in the fintech sector with up to 50,000 employees now involved.
The bank is aware that staying competitive in the area of fintech is essential to growth and also fending off keen competition. Staying on top of the latest cybersecurity, which is an ever-evolving space in the financial sector, is becoming highly relevant as banks evolve.
The announcement of the campus follows last year’s acquisition of Paypal’s main competitor WePay, whose 275 employees will also be making the move to Palo Alto. The campus will include “an innovation hub” and what the company describes as “modern workplace design with amenities that matter most to employees and state-of-the-art technology to increase collaboration.”
Site developer, Truebeck Construction, state that the project will commence with the construction of a 115,000-square-foot two-story edifice, further followed by a building of 80,000 square feet. But with floor space in Palo Alto averaging $107.64 per square foot per year, at three times the national average, rent certainly won’t come cheap.
Dimon predicted the move back in 2015 when he famously warned of “hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking,” predicting “Silicon Valley is coming.”
“This is him planting that flag,” Tina Hsiao, WePay’s operating chief, said in an interview. “The leaders have said: we’re not tourists, we’re here to stay.”
“Nontech industries are opening, whether it’s thought centres or innovation centres, to tap into the intellectual capacity that’s here in the valley,” said Jon Cannon, executive managing director at commercial real estate advisory firm Newmark Knight Frank in Silicon Valley. “It’s a continuing trend.”
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