JPMorgan Chase To Build Tower At WTC Site

JP Morgan Chase & Co. agreed long ago to become the first private company to occupy office space at the World Trade Center site. But negotiations over tax incentives and other perks went on for months, officials have said — and the bank suggested it would leave New York for Connecticut or New Jersey if an acceptable deal couldn't be struck.

JP Morgan has now reached an agreement to build and move into one of five planned office towers at ground zero, with a hefty package of state and city incentives, officials announced Thursday.

"We have proven once again that downtown Manhattan is the epicenter of global capital," Gov. Eliot Spitzer said at a news conference.

Spitzer said the incentives, which were around $100 million, are similar to those given other companies.

JP Morgan, one of the country's largest banks, will pay $300 million to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for rights to build a 40-plus-story tower for more than 6,000 employees. The bank will receive a 92-year lease for the building, which is expected to open in the next five years.

A year ago, the Port Authority took over development of this fifth tower and the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower, which is under construction, from private developer Larry Silverstein. But since Spitzer took office, the agency has explored the sale of one or both towers to the private sector.

JP Morgan will build its tower on the spot where a vacant skyscraper heavily damaged in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks now sits. The former Deutsche Bank building — plagued by contamination, the discovery of human remains and a recent construction accident — is being taken down floor by floor. Officials have said it will be removed by the end of this year.

The 1.3 million-square-foot tower will include seven cantilevered trading floors. Community officials had objected to the design, saying it would cast shadows over the neighborhood and on the spot where a Greek Orthodox church plans to rebuild.

JP Morgan would relocate thousands of its investment banking employees from its main midtown Manhattan location and from several downtown locations.

The incentives it received to move include tax breaks and a deal reducing the price of its power supply.

The tower is the last planned to replace more than 10 million square feet of office space destroyed in the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Freedom Tower is expected to open in 2011. Three others towers, to be built by Silverstein, are expected to open between 2011 and 2013.