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Midtown East rezoning’s first major project is 70-story HQ for JPMorgan Chase

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The global banking firm will construct an enormous skyscraper under the city’s new rules for Midtown East

Katherine Welles /

The first major project to be developed under the new Midtown East rezoning plan is here: Mayor Bill de Blasio and JPMorgan Chase head Jamie Dimon announced today that the company will demolish its old headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, and construct a new, 2.5 million-square-foot building in its place.

“This is our plan for East Midtown in action,” De Blasio said in a statement. “Good jobs, modern buildings and concrete investments that will make East Midtown stronger for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who work here.”

Currently, Chase occupies the former Union Carbide Building on Park Avenue between 47th and 48th streets. The 52-story skyscraper was built by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in 1961. But Chase’s new HQ will be quite a bit bigger: According to The New York Times, the new tower will rise 70 stories, and could be as much as 500 feet taller than the existing building—which itself is just over 700 feet tall.

Chase had previously been eyeing the Hudson Yards area for a new global headquarters, which would have been spread across two skyscrapers, but the plan ultimately fell through.

As part of the Midtown East rezoning plan, developers are permitted to buy unused air rights from neighboring landmarked buildings in order to go taller, an avenue that Chase intends to pursue for this new building. According to the Times, this could lead to as much as $40 million for infrastructure improvements to nearby streets and sidewalks.

“This is a true win-win-win,” deputy mayor Alicia Glen said in a statement. “The City of New York retains a major company and its employment base, the surrounding community sees improvements in its public spaces, and JPMorgan Chase will have a new headquarters that helps the firm compete for decades to come.”

A design team for the new building has not yet been announced, but the city anticipates that construction will begin in 2019, with the whole thing expected to take five years to complete.