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Old August 24th, 2005, 11:22 PM   #1
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NYC: Goldman Sachs Tower Approved

This tower will be 43 stories, 742 ft/226 m designed by Pei Cobb & Freed and will be built across the street from the WTC site on site 26, directly across from the World Financial Center. It is scheduled to start construction later this year and be completed by 2009.

NY Times

Board Approves Deal for Goldman Sachs Tower

By CHARLES V. BAGLI

A state board formally approved a deal yesterday that would enable Goldman Sachs to revive its plan to build a $2 billion headquarters across the street from the World Trade Center site. But it would cost taxpayers even more in subsidies than has been previously disclosed.

State and city officials announced earlier this month that they had agreed to provide Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, with a bigger incentive package, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to lure it downtown after it had explored a move to Midtown.

But officials confirmed this week that they had also agreed to lower the bank's annual payment in lieu of taxes for the new headquarters, a decrease that could amount to as much as $9 million a year. Some government watchdog groups criticized the extent of government largesse, but state and city officials defended the new deal, saying Goldman Sachs was critical to the commercial future of Lower Manhattan.

John P. Cahill, the governor's chief of staff, who negotiated with Goldman executives, said that Goldman's decision to build a 43-story tower in Battery Park City "reinforces Lower Manhattan's position as the financial capital of the world" and would help the city's effort to keep American Express and Merrill Lynch downtown.

The state board that approved the deal, the Battery Park City Authority, agreed to lease the last remaining commercial development site at Battery Park City to Goldman Sachs for 65 years. The bank, in turn, agreed to make a one-time lease payment of $161 million in February.

"The economics of our deal have not changed since the beginning," said Tim Carey, president of the authority. But the larger deal has changed.

"From what's been reported, you can't imagine a sweeter deal," said Bettina Damiani, project director at Good Jobs New York, a government watchdog group.

Goldman had abandoned its effort to build a new glass and stainless steel tower across West Street from the World Trade Center site in April out of frustration with the seeming disarray of the state's plans to manage security and traffic in the area. Goldman then began a very public search for an alternative site in Midtown.

Many public officials and downtown landlords feared that if Goldman migrated to Midtown, Merrill Lynch, whose lease at the World Financial Center expires in a couple of years, and other large employers would follow. Lower Manhattan has been plagued by high commercial vacancy rates since the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. The developer Larry A. Silverstein has nearly completed rebuilding 7 World Trade Center, but so far he has been unable to land an anchor tenant.

In recent weeks, state and city officials went back to Goldman with new security and traffic plans as well as more enticements. They agreed to increase the value of the tax-free Liberty Bonds available for the project from $1 billion to $1.65 billion. The city's Independent Budget Office estimates that Goldman will save about $9 million a year in interest payments, up from $5.5 million, because the bonds are exempt from taxes. A public hearing on the bonds is the next step in the approval process, followed by final approval from the state.

"We felt we had to make an attractive offer that we believed would be compelling enough to make them reconsider Site 26," said Adam L. Barsky, deputy secretary to Gov. George E. Pataki, referring to the parcel in question.

Real estate executives say Goldman was unable to find an alternative location in Midtown that met its requirements. State and city officials say Goldman could have extended its leases at 85 Broad Street, 1 New York Plaza and other buildings downtown. But it would not have had the same impact as a commitment to build a $2 billion tower.

The state and city are also giving the company $115 million in tax breaks and cash grants, in return for its commitment to maintain its headquarters in Lower Manhattan and more than 9,000 jobs now in New York through 2028. The value of the tax breaks could swell to $150 million if Goldman's work force grows in the coming years. But earlier this year, officials offered tax breaks worth only $30 million to $55 million.

At the same time, the city reconfigured the payments in lieu of taxes that Goldman would have to make for its new headquarters, an arrangement that officials confirmed only this week. Officials had originally indicated that over time, the yearly payments, arranged when a developer is building on publicly owned land, would never exceed $15.11 per square foot, or $30.2 million. Under the new arrangement, the ceiling was set at a lower rate, $10.71 a square foot, or $21.4 million.

Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for the mayor, said the state had agreed to reimburse the city for the difference, which he said would be about $40 million between 2012 and 2026.

Mr. Carey, of the authority, said Goldman would pay about $900,000 a year toward the upkeep of Battery Park City and $3.5 million toward designing and building a new library.







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Old August 24th, 2005, 11:28 PM   #2
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i like it but the goldman sachs across the river is better,the best design pei cobb fried has done in a long while
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Old August 24th, 2005, 11:31 PM   #3
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Looks nice.
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Old August 24th, 2005, 11:46 PM   #4
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This building is beautiful!!!
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Old August 25th, 2005, 01:01 AM   #5
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Very cool and it will look great especially if it's right next to the Freedom Tower
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Old August 25th, 2005, 01:21 AM   #6
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Very nice tower! It has a wonderful looking shape.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 01:23 AM   #7
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looks OK
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Old August 25th, 2005, 02:00 AM   #8
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Very dated, recycled Pei... 80's, even 70's.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 03:38 AM   #9
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Looks "ok" with the mixture contrast of geometric forms. But in the skyline, it's actually dissappeared.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 04:00 AM   #10
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The beauty of this building is the curved facade on the western side (which is not shown in any of the renderings).
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Old August 25th, 2005, 11:09 PM   #11
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Good news.I like its shape!
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Old August 26th, 2005, 12:44 AM   #12
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http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/25/opinion/25thu4.html
A Golden Goldman Sachs

Published: August 25, 2005

The decision by Goldman Sachs to build its $2 billion headquarters near ground zero comes at a very important time. As New York and the nation prepare for the fourth anniversary of Sept. 11, with its reminders of so much loss, there is a new and durable promise that the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan is beginning. The Goldman Sachs proposal, which is set for a public hearing in the next few weeks, would help revive Lower Manhattan's credentials as a global financial center. It would encourage those who have been wavering to take heart and sign leases, and plan to stay.

If there is a downside, it is that Goldman's decision will cost the city, state and federal taxpayers far more in incentives than it would have six months ago. Last April, company officials shocked public officials when they canceled their plans to build near ground zero and looked for other sites in Manhattan. The defection sent shudders through the downtown business community.

Many understandably blamed Gov. George Pataki and, to a lesser extent, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his Police Department, for not paying enough attention early on to the security issues at ground zero.

Since Goldman's startling announcement, the governor, the mayor and the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, have scrambled to lure the company back to the area. The details of what it will cost are still a little sketchy, but it appears that Goldman Sachs will receive $115 million to $150 million in city and state credits and around $1.6 billion in Liberty bonds, which have federal backing.

It is, as critics are starting to realize, an extremely sweet deal. At this point, however, it is a price New York can't afford to refuse.
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