JP Morgan Chase Bank and the City of New York announced on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, that the bank will begin construction in 2019 of a new 2.5 million square-foot building at 270 Park Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets. The new building will house 15,000 employees and will replace the current headquarters, a skyscraper built in the 1950s for 3,500 people. Construction is expected to last for about five years, during which time current employees will be relocated to other JPM locations throughout the city.
The new world headquarters will stand 70 stories tall and will be the first skyscraper to be constructed under New York City’s new zoning laws for the area surrounding Grand Central Terminal. The new laws were enacted to promote the development of taller, more modern structures and keep Midtown at the heart of the city’s business and commercial districts. It is expected to rise 500 feet higher than the existing 42-story structure.
According to Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive of the company, the new construction venture demonstrates an affirmation of the bank’s commitment to New York City, while also ensuring that the organization operates in “a highly efficient and world-class environment for the 21st century.” The project is expected to raise more than $40 million in improvements to the local neighborhood, including upgrades to local streets, sidewalks and pedestrian plazas.
The original structure at 270 Park Avenue was a 12-story hotel, the Renaissance Revival Hotel Marguery, built in 1917. At one stage during the 1930s, Nikola Teslas occupied rooms at the hotel. Tesla was a Serbian-American engineer who contributed to the design of the modern AC current electrical supply system. In 1947, the film Kiss of Death in and around the hotel. In 1961, Natalie de Bois designed the current structure, which is due for demolition to make way for the newer building.