Goldmans to ditch Ground Zero plan

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The Independent Online

Goldman Sachs is likely to abandon plans to build a $2bn (£1.1bn) headquarters at Ground Zero after a raft of planning problems have beset the rebuilding of the site.

Goldman Sachs is likely to abandon plans to build a $2bn (£1.1bn) headquarters at Ground Zero after a raft of planning problems have beset the rebuilding of the site.

Goldman was the only Wall Street bank which had undertaken to keep its main office near the site hit by the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Developers had hoped its presence on one corner of that area would encourage other major clients to take up residence.

The bank, which wants to consolidate 10 offices it has now spread over lower Manhattan, was ready to start construction. But it has become frustrated with wrangling over the Freedom Tower, the building intended to replace the World Trade Centre towers, which were leased by the property developer Larry Silverstein.

Goldman has also objected to plans to build an underpass whose entrance would come out just by its proposed new building. It is also concerned about the security arrangements planned for the new buildings at Ground Zero.

Politicians are keen to keep Goldman on board and may back down over the underpass and other sticking points, but the bank is now planning to look around for other potential sites to house its 10,000 New York employees. A spokesperson said the bank was committed to keeping its headquarters in Manhattan.

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