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NEW YORK CITY-Financial powerhouse Goldman Sachs is planning a two-million-sf base of operations on Site 26–the last commercial parcel in Battery Park City. The project, which is projected to cost $1.8 billion to realize, is expected to be online in 2009 or 2010. It is the first development of headquarters space in Lower Manhattan in 16 years.

Already approved is $1 billion in Liberty Bond financing to go toward development costs. Nearly two months ago, Andrew Alper, president of the New York City Economic Development Corp., said a $1-billion allocation for a Goldman Sachs project was among the projects “in the pipeline.”

Goldman Sachs is currently negotiating a ground lease for the site through 2069 with the Battery Park City Authority, which is expected to provide for up to $13.4 million in sales tax exemptions. The company will also be eligible for Con Edison energy discounts worth an estimated $10.3 million and can apply for up to $25 million in Job Creation and Retention Program grant funds.

Last July, Goldman Sachs inked a 425,000-sf lease renewal at One New York Place in Lower Manhattan that runs through September 2009. And the company received a $173-million business incentive award to move some operations to 1.2-million-sf office tower in Jersey City. Goldman divisions are also housed in various financial district locations. The company did not respond to a request for additional information.

The state-of-the-art site will house headquarters and front office staff, including investment banking, commodities trading and related operations. The move will keep more than 9,000 jobs here and Goldman anticipates adding 4,000 or so more by 2019. It will keep employment levels at that rate until 2028. Approximately 7,400 jobs will be located in the new headquarters building, official estimate.

“This is proof positive of the growing confidence of the financial services sector in the revitalization of the city and Lower Manhattan,” says Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “The firm’s creation of a state-of-the-art trading facility and its expectation of adding thousands of jobs over the next 15 years speaks volumes to the progress we’re seeing everyday.”

Another Downtown project was green lighted as preliminary Liberty Bond inducement in the amount of $52 million was approved for the National Sports Museum, a 90,000-sf initiative which is expected to open in 2006.

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