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All JP Morgan Wants Is One Billion Dollars

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Fact: JP Morgan is interested in moving its headquarters from 270 Park Avenue to a yet-to-be constructed "corporate campus" on the west side of Manhattan. Fact: Real estate developers like the idea of this place, which would cost approximately $6.5 billion to build. Rub: JP Morgan needs the city to entice it to head West, and not that you can put a price on these things but $1 billion would probably be enough to get Jamie and Co. to put their hard hats on.

The talks, which involve one of the largest real estate complexes for a single company in New York City history and a large package of incentives for Chase, have reached a feverish state after nearly falling apart this week. The negotiations are so delicate that few people are willing to discuss them publicly for fear of alienating one side or another. But a deal with the bank poses political risks for both the state and the city. Chase had initially sought, by one account, more than $1 billion in concessions from the city and the state while it continues to pare its payroll in the city. According to executives and officials, Chase wants to build the two towers — whose total space would be the equivalent of about two Empire State Buildings — at Hudson Yards on the north side of 33rd Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues. They would become home to 16,000 employees...

For Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, offering generous subsidies and special incentives would provide more fodder to critics who say he has been too eager to please corporate and real estate interests that represent important sources of financial support for his re-election campaign. And for Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democrat, who has railed against corporate subsidies, supporting the project would represent a significant departure that could be difficult to justify to his supporters on the left. At the same time, if the mayor opposes the project, it could leave him open to criticism that he is indifferent to the needs of the city’s largest employers. The bank, however, has insisted that the benefits from the proposed deal would outweigh the value of any concessions or subsidies, especially since Chase would have to buy development rights from the city and make certain annual payments in order to erect the towers. The bank’s “wish list” of concessions, however, has shrunk significantly in recent days. And the talks have picked up momentum, although a deal is far from assured. State officials are creating a counteroffer. “There’s no way that the city would entertain a demand for a billion dollars in additional incentives at Hudson Yards,” said Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor for economic development. “We have always been willing to engage with them in a dialogue about how we could be helpful in making a move more feasible.”

JPMorgan Chase Seeks Incentives to Build New Headquarters in Manhattan [NYT]


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