NYSE to ring changes with a new address

The famous Greek-columned monolith that has been home to the New York Stock Exchange on the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street in downtown Manhattan for 93 years may soon be echoing to the sounds of pushchairs and exercise machines instead of the ring of the bell that opens and closes trading sessions, writes David Usborne.

Plans that came to light for the first time yesterday envisage the departure of the NYSE to a new and more modern facility and the redevelopment of its existing home into an upmarket condominium complex.

The NYSE has reportedly concluded that the building, constructed in 1903 by the architect George Post, is too small and too dilapidated to adequately serve its needs into the next century. Recently, there has been a sudden spurt in growth in the NYSE's membership and its trading volume.

It does not appear, however, that the NYSE would consider moving out of Manhattan or of its historical financial district. A decision to locate elsewhere, for instance in New Jersey, would be a body-blow to New York, which was recently forced to offer generous incentives to persuade the cotton and cocoa exchanges to build new offices in the city.

Instead, discussions have already begun on identifying a new site for the exchange within the district's bounds. Among those approached is Donald Trump, the development mogul, who is proposing to back a new exchange building on two piers south of the South Street Seaport. The ever-ambitious Mr Trump is also proposing to build the world's tallest tower as part of the same development.

Fran Reiter, New York's deputy mayor for economic development, confirmed the NYSE's thinking to the New York Post: "They need more space. We've told them that we will endeavour to help them in any way we can." Andrew Yemma, spokesman for the NYSE, said that the exchange was in "the early stages of examining several possibilities".

Another possible site for the new exchange could be at 2 Broadway, where a virtually empty office tower, recently auctioned to a Russian emigre, stands. Any such large construction project could provide a considerable economic boost to the area, which has been burdened in recent years by an exodus of firms.

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