Company News

REFILE-JPMorgan sticks with plan to build giant New York headquarters

 (Corrects height comparison with Bank of America Tower in
fourth paragraph to 225 feet, not 400 feet)
    By David Henry and Herbert Lash
    NEW YORK, Oct 13 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co is
forging ahead with plans to build a mammoth new headquarters in
New York, Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said on Tuesday, despite
the coronavirus pandemic casting serious doubt on the future of
office buildings.
    "We're building that headquarters for 50 years! It is not a
short-term decision," Dimon said during a call with reporters
after posting quarterly results.
    Slated to open in 2024, for a price tag of as much as $3
billion, the building at 270 Park Avenue is to house about
14,000 employees.
    At 1,425 feet, it would be the second-tallest office
building in Manhattan behind One World Trade Center, nearly 200
feet higher than the Empire State Building and 225 feet above
the nearby Bank of America Tower, according to the Council on
Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
    An illustration by Lewis Garrison, a 3-D architectural
illustrator who likes to make video flyovers of skylines, here
 envisions JPMorgan's new headquarters towering over Midtown
Manhattan, a T-Rex in what might seem like a field of dinosaurs.
    But since pandemic lockdowns happened in March, far fewer
workers have been going into offices, making it unclear why such
a big skyscraper is necessary. 
    JPMorgan has been showcasing new safety protocol and
prodding white-collar employees to return, but New York's
financial centers are nothing like they were before the
pandemic. Major thoroughfares are more populated than when virus
fears ran high, but the Midtown lunch crowd remains sparse.
    The longer it goes on, the less temporary it seems.
    Companies will need 10% to 20% less office space in a
post-pandemic world, several real-estate brokerages predict.
Nearly three-quarters of respondents to a Piper Sandler & Co
survey in mid-September said they expect to work from home more
often, up from 59% in its June tally.
    Only one-in-five JPMorgan employees are going to offices in
New York now, Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Piepszak said.
The company does not expect that to change for the foreseeable
    JPMorgan will have a lasting shift toward working from home,
Dimon said, but he doesn't know how big the change will be. The
bank has as many people assigned to other New York buildings as
it plans to have in the skyscraper and can adjust if necessary,
he said.
    "We have plenty of leeway in how we manage our real estate
over time," Dimon said.
    JPMorgan likely will adopt new floor plans that are less
dense with larger conference rooms and perhaps more private
offices, said Dennis Donovan, principal at Wadley Donovan
Gutshaw Consulting. The bank will be able to do that from
scratch instead of retrofitting.
    It may also be part of Dimon’s legacy, a building to last
beyond the time anyone is talking about his expense ratios or
return on equity.
    "It really is something that will endure well beyond COVID,"
said Jesse Keenan, a real-estate professor at Tulane University.
    Building        Use      Height(fee    Floor     Completion
                                 t)      area(milli       
                                           on sq     
   One World      offices      1,776        3.50        2014
  Trade Center                                            
  Central Park   apartments    1,550        1.28        2020
 111 W 57th St   apartments    1,428        0.32        2020
 JPMorgan Chase   offices      1,425        2.42        2024
 One Vanderbilt   offices      1,401        1.75        2020
  432 Park Ave   apartments    1,397        0.82        2015
   30 Hudson      offices      1,270        2.60        2019
  Empire State    offices      1,250        2.25        1931
    Bank of       offices      1,200        2.10        2009
 America Tower                                       
 3 World Trade    offices      1,079        2.80        2018
    Source:      here                               
   Council on                                        
 Tall Buildings                                      
   and Urban                                         
 Habitat, owner                                      
 (Reporting by David Henry and Herb Lash in New York
Editing by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Nick Zieminski)