After months of suspense, investment bank Goldman Sachs has announced plans to move forward on the construction of a $2 billion headquarters in Lower Manhattan. The news was first reported in the New York Times.
Goldman, considered a critical downtown tenant by city and state, originally planned to build a 40-story tower across the street from Ground Zero. Plans were derailed in April, however, after the city proposed building a tunnel near the new building.
At issue, according to the investment bank, was the mouth of a vehicular tunnel that would parallel the World Trade Center memorial and Freedom Tower. Goldman claimed that the four-lane wide tunnel opening would come too close to the new building’s entrance.
Goldman employs 9,000 workers in nearly a dozen different Lower Manhattan office towers. The new headquarters, which Goldman expects to begin building by 2008, would consolidate those workers under one roof. The change of plans comes as Lower Manhattan braces for a wave of construction over the next few years. The first office tower to rise on ground Zero—7 World Trade Center—will be ready for occupancy early in 2006. The Freedom Tower will be developed near 7 World Trade Center, but it’s unclear when construction will begin. Roughly $13 billion worth of federal, state and insurance funds will be used in the 16-acre Ground Zero rebuilding process.