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JPMorgan Pushing For Less Public Space At Its Planned Park Avenue Skyscraper

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JPMorgan Pushing For Less Public Space At Its Planned Park Avenue Skyscraper
270 Park Ave. in New York, which JPMorgan is tearing down to build a new HQ

JPMorgan Chase is arguing it shouldn’t have to build the required amount of public space at its proposed Midtown East tower because the development site is above a train shed.

The bank is planning to a build a new, 2.5M SF skyscraper to replace its office building at 270 Park Ave. Under the Midtown East rezoning rules, JPMorgan is required to feature a 10K SF public space at the new HQ, Crain’s New York Business reports

But JPMorgan told the Manhattan community board that it should only have to build 7K SF of public space because a large part of the site is over a train shed connected to Grand Central and the lack of foundation means it is not workable to build the full amount.

Developers get extra density if they buy air rights, improve transit or build public space, according to the publication. The community board voted against the plan.

“Asking for a huge giveaway in exchange for nothing is not something we would contemplate,” said the board’s land use committee chair, Layla Law-Gisiko, according to Crain’s.

The planned 70-story tower will be JPMorgan Chase's new global headquarters, house 15,000 employees and eclipse the existing building’s footprint by more than 1M SF, according to JPMorgan’s announcement in February. If completed, it would be the largest voluntary teardown of an existing building in the country's history.