JPMorgan seeks to reduce office space in two Manhattan towers

JPMorgan Chase is marketing big blocks of office space in Manhattan as companies reevaluate their need for real estate amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The New York-based bank is looking to sublet just under 700,000 square feet (65,000 square meters) at 4 New York Plaza in the Financial District and more than 100,000 square feet at 5 Manhattan West in the Hudson Yards area, said the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. Brokers at Jones Lang LaSalle are marketing the space.

“It is too early to comment on specifics as we continue to learn and adapt to this current situation and how it impacts our commercial real estate needs,” Michael Fusco, a JPMorgan spokesman, said in an email. “We are committed to New York and are planning for the next 50 years with our new headquarters here.”

JPMorgan is building a new skyscraper on Park Avenue that will be one of the largest in Manhattan. Still, Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said in a Bloomberg TV interview Monday that the shift to remote work brought on by the pandemic may lead to permanent changes in how businesses operate and will reduce companies’ need for real estate.

“New York could have a little bit of a difficult time,” Dimon said. “Already, real estate needs will come down. Most of us are going to go to more open seating because you don’t need 100 seats for 100 employees — you’re going to need like 60.”

Over the past few years, JPMorgan has been shrinking its workforce in New York, looking to relocate thousands of employees based in the city while building up its presence in other locations. Dimon said Monday that a “large portion” of the bank’s workers will permanently be based in offices but that he expects a hybrid model for others, with some people going into offices some days and working remotely on others.

The bank has been planning to consolidate its Manhattan operations at its new headquarters at 270 Park Ave. once construction is complete. But changes brought about by the pandemic — including openness to remote work — were among catalysts that led to the decision to find potential sublettors for space at 5 Manhattan West, where many tech workers are based, the people said.

JPMorgan sold 4 New York Plaza to Capstone Equities and Harbor Group in 2010, agreeing to lease back space in the building. The offices it is marketing will be for the remainder of the lease, which expires in 2025.

The bank opened its New York tech hub at 5 Manhattan West in 2015. It is seeking to sublet roughly a quarter of the more than 400,000 square feet of space it has there, the people said.

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