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Nvidia drops $374M to become its own landlord in Santa Clara

The most valuable office tenant in the country ended a quiet bidding war.

A person is speaking on stage with dynamic green lighting in the background. They're wearing glasses and a black leather jacket.
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang has functioned as a leading spokesman for the nascent AI industry due to his company's dominant industry position. | Source: Kim Kulish/Corbis/Getty Images

Nvidia, the chipmaker whose market value has ballooned to over $2.3 trillion as a result of the artificial intelligence boom, just dropped a nine-figure sum to acquire a majority of its Santa Clara headquarters, which it has occupied since 1998.

According to documents filed with the county, Nvidia paid just over $374 million to its now-former landlord, Preylock Holdings, a Los Angeles asset management company, for six parcels of land with eight buildings and two parking structures. 

Earlier this year, Preylock had quietly auctioned the properties for sale after receiving an unsolicited bid from a foreign buyer. Steven Golubchik, executive vice chairman at real estate firm Newmark, whose team represented the seller in the deal, declined to comment. 

According to property records, Preylock, which also did not respond to a request for comment, initially purchased the campus from San Francisco-based DivcoWest in 2017 for $240 million. 

Representatives from Nvidia did not respond to a request for comment. But its latest real estate deal indicates the company is ready to join its other blue-chip tech peers, like Apple and Google, in owning its headquarters rather than having to be beholden to any landlord. 

Alongside ownership of the existing properties, the deal also comes with the possession of roughly 2 million square feet of future development rights, giving the growing chipmaker ample opportunity to continue expanding its home base. 

Nvidia, which has seen its valuation skyrocket in recent years as a result of its role in manufacturing chips that are helping to drive the artificial intelligence revolution, is the sole tenant on the property and has been aggressively expanding its office footprint in the area.

Between 2018 and 2022, Nvidia built and opened two nearby office buildings, totaling over 1.2 million square feet. Those buildings, named Voyager and Endeavor (the former a reference to Star Trek and the latter a NASA space shuttle), were developed and owned by Nvidia and were not part of this recent sale.

A man walks down steps at NVIDIA's modern office building entrance marked "2788" under a vibrant green logo. Another person stands in the background.
Seven years ago, a large chunk of Nvidia's Santa Clara headquarters was worth $240 million. That price has since climbed along with the company's valuation. | Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Despite what one might think, given the size of its structures, Nvidia doesn’t actually manufacture any of its signature chips on-site. Rather, its headquarters is a combination of office, lab and data center space connected by sprawling parks and a network of overhead bridges. Of note, the company still does not require its employees to work in-person, according to reports.

At the company’s most recent GPU Technology Conference for AI developers held in San Jose in March, CEO Jensen Huang unveiled a prototype of Nvidia’s most powerful chip to date, the Blackwell. 

An electrical engineer by trade before he became a leather-jacketed Silicon Valley mogul and celebrity, Huang has functioned as a leading spokesman for the nascent AI industry because of Nvidia’s dominant industry position. Last month, Huang sat down for an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes advocating for the expansion of AI in a variety of use cases, including robotics, medicine and science. 

“Companies, when they become more productive [as a result of AI], see their earnings increase,” Huang told 60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whitaker. “I’ve never seen one company that had earnings increase not hire more people.” 

Nvidia’s head start in the market doesn’t guarantee that it will remain on top. Both rivals and some of its customers have been ramping up efforts recently to either diversify their chip supply or develop their own in-house designs. 

But as evidenced by Huang’s hand delivery of the first Nvidia DGX H200 chips to OpenAI last month, the relationship between two of the industry’s leaders remains as close as ever. 

Correction: This story was updated with the proper spelling of “60 Minutes” correspondent Bill Whitaker.