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Chase wants public money for Ground Zero plan

Ground Zero in Manhattan

KAI RYSSDAL: The financial action today was on Wall Street.But New York — both the city and the state — want more. More than five years after September 11, they're still trying to lure businesses back to lower Manhattan.

JP Morgan Chase was supposed to be a big part of that recovery. The bank has made a tentative deal to build a 50-story tower right next to Ground Zero. But according to the New York Times today, Chase wants a bigger package of subsidies before it'll completely commit. Otherwise, it might swap the buzz of downtown Manhattan for the more subdued surroundings of Stamford, Conn. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.


ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Since 9/11, officials have offered tax breaks and other subsidies to firms willing to relocate downtown. JP Morgan Chase has already been offered a hundred million dollars in incentives.

But the New York Times reports it wants more. Chase wouldn't comment for this story.

Dan Steinburg is with Good Jobs New York.

DAN STEINBURG: The bottom line is that Chase's decision on where to locate is going to be based on what's best for business, not based on who wins this wasteful bidding war.

Still, if Chase is playing chicken, there's a reason: in 2005, Goldman Sachs landed a $650 million subsidy package for building downtown. Chase wants something similar.

But, Steinburg says, that was then . . .

STEINBURG: The mayor has made it very clear that that was an exceptional case. It was one of the first major decisions from a bank to move back downtown after September 11.

He says that whopping amount was partly to make up to Goldman Sachs for mistakes that were made in planning the site. It's highly unlikely Chase will get anywhere near that much.

So if the bank does flounce out of Manhattan and up to Stamford, Conn. . . .

MIKE FREIMUTH: Oh, it'd be a major coup. Not just for the city, but for the state.

That's Mike Freimuth with Stamford's Office of Economic Development.

FREIMUTH: There's the income taxes, there's the corporate taxes, there's a variety of secondary impacts — we know, for instance, that just about every financial services job generates another two and a half jobs in support services.

Still, the move is far from a done deal. Freimuth's not breaking out the champagne just yet.

In New York, I'm Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

About the author

Ashley Milne-Tyte is the host of a podcast about women in the workplace called The Broad Experience.

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