2007_04_libertystreet.jpgIn yet another sign that the state and city government want big business at the redeveloping area near the World Trade Center, the NY Times reports that JPMorgan Chase is "in negotiations...to build a 1.3 million-square foot skyscraper." And not only would thousands of employees move from Midtown (277 Park Ave.; the bank would keep 270 Park), the skyscraper would be at 130 Liberty St. - where the toxic Deutsche Building is being dismantled.

Chase wants a hefty incentive package, or subsidy, to build the 50-story tower on the site of the Deutsche Bank building, the officials said. The building would have to cantilever over a planned park along Liberty Street to accommodate large trading floors, and that could stir community opposition.

But officials say the bank has already agreed to pay the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as much as $300 million for the development rights on the parcel at the corner of Cedar and Greenwich Streets.

Motivations for moving downtown include less expensive rents than Midtown and any attractive deal the city and state can cough up. However, Community Board 1 chairwoman Julie Menin, who hasn't seen the plans, tells the Times, "We have a dearth of open space in Lower Manhattan. Anything that throws shadows is of concern to us.”

And the "Survivors Staircase," the remains of a staircase from the World Trade Center, may be moved to Battery Park City, where a public school was planned to be built. Though the Empire State Development Corporation says they are still considering a number of options, West Street Coalition chair John Dellaporta gave this scathing summation: "No one can believe the site that was going to be a school for the community is going to be a dumping ground for a 175-ton piece of toxic, chemical-strewn debris."