Governor Eliot Spitzer, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today announced a $300 million agreement with a leading financial services firm to lease and develop office space at the new World Trade Center complex.
Under the agreement, JPMorgan Chase will move its investment banking headquarters into the new tower to be built at Site 5. The new offices will serve as the base of operations for approximately 7,000 employees.
“JPMorgan Chase's commitment to locate its investment banking headquarters at the World Trade Center represents another step forward in revitalizing Ground Zero and ensuring that New York remains the financial capital of the world,” said Governor Spitzer. “By joining other major financial institutions downtown, JPMorgan Chase is demonstrating that Lower Manhattan is well on the road to recovery. Coupled with last month’s announcement of the $2 billion settlement of outstanding insurance claims, we continue to see real progress at the site.”
Mayor Bloomberg said: “After 9/11, people were saying that New York was on its knees, but with record low unemployment, lower taxes, lower crime rates, better schools and a better quality of life, there’s no doubt that New York is a place where major companies want to locate and do business. The resurgence of Lower Manhattan has made it a particularly attractive area and today’s announcement by JPMorgan Chase sends a message to the world that New York and Lower Manhattan have come back stronger than ever.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who represents the community surrounding Ground Zero, said: “JPMorgan Chase's announcement is a victory for Lower Manhattan, but it’s about more than economics. I believe that we have a national and a moral obligation to respond to the hatred and the destruction of September 11th by building a stronger, safer, more prosperous Downtown than had existed before the attacks.”
JP Morgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said: “JPMorgan Chase is proud of our deep roots in New York City and New York State, and we're pleased to be announcing a project today that will be critical to our firm's long-term future. We are also proud to be taking a leadership role in supporting Lower Manhattan and helping to revitalize the World Trade Center area.”
Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said: “Over the past several months we’ve made tremendous progress at Ground Zero, and the agreement to bring a world-class company to the site will help us continue to build on this momentum and deliver on the promise of a rebuilt and renewed World Trade Center site.”
Site 5 is currently the home of the former Deutsche Bank Building. The 41-story skyscraper was significantly damaged during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Earlier this year, the state revised the agreement with the contractors deconstructing the building to obligate them to maintain a workforce of more than 350 on the site and to provide a significant financial incentive for them to bring the building down on schedule to make way for redevelopment of the site. Since that time, the top six floors of the building have been removed, and floors continue to come down at the rate of approximately one floor per week.
Under the agreement, JPMorgan Chase will pay the Port Authority $290 million for the development rights for Site 5. The lease for the site, which is subject to approval by the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners at their meeting next week, will run for 92 years beginning in July 2008. JPMorgan Chase plans to build a 40-story, 1.3 million square foot skyscraper on the property.
JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) accessed existing economic development funds such as the World Trade Center Job Creation & Retention Grant Program, which was created to stimulate the redevelopment of downtown. The company will receive up to $20 million when it reaches full employment in Lower Manhattan. By being the first employer to commit to the World Trade Center site, JPMC also accessed the previously created and funded World Trade Center Rent Reduction Program.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said: “This agreement will bring substantial value to the Port Authority and play a critical role in renewing Lower Manhattan. It represents another significant milestone since the Port Authority entered into a global agreement in September last year for rebuilding the World Trade Center site. And it will allow the Port Authority to continue to focus on the enormous responsibilities we have undertaken at the site – building a memorial to honor those who died on 9/11, a major transportation hub, and the Freedom Tower.”
Daniel Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding, said: “There’s no question that New York is the financial capital of the world, and there’s no question that a world class financial services leader like JPMorgan Chase belongs here. We’re pleased that JP Morgan Chase decided to keep their roots firmly planted in the City, and that we were able to work together to come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial.”
Patrick Foye, Chairman Empire State Development Corporation/Downstate said: “This agreement by JPMorgan Chase is a bold sign that we’ve reached another crucial turning point in the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan. It shows a renewed faith in the Lower Manhattan market and it will help draw more investment and create even more jobs.”
Today’s announcement comes three weeks after the state announced a $2 billion settlement of all outstanding insurance claims arising from the destruction of the World Trade Center. The agreement, the largest in regulatory history, ended almost six years of legal battles between Silverstein Properties and seven insurance companies and removed the last major obstacle to funding development at Ground Zero. Earlier this year, Governor Spitzer announced that funding was secured for the construction of the Freedom Tower and that the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners had approved nearly $1 billion in construction contracts.