New York City authorities have postponed a vote on a controversial $950 million subsidy package for the construction of a new Nyse tower block after Exchange chairman Richard Grasso questioned the viability of the project.
New York's Industrial Development Agency was scheduled to vote through the plans tomorrow, authorising the sale of bonds to help finance the build of a 900 foot tower above the Exchange's new trading floor.
The decision to cancel comes days after Nyse chairman Grasso expressed serious misgivings about the plans in the wake of the terrorist attacks on 11 September. The attacks have led to a fundamental rethink about locational issues and their relationship to disaster recovery procedures, with Grasso saying the Nyse would be looking to decentralise its operations in the future. He says the Exzchange would prefer a move into a rebuilt World Trade Centre complex.
The original plans had called for the contruction of a new 600,000 square-foot trading floor across the street from Nyse's current location on Broad and Wall Streets. The City was prepared to underwrite a large portion of the development, representing the largest such deal in New York history, after the Nyse had threatened to relocate its HQ to New Jersey.
The cancellation of the vote has been welcomed by activist groups, which had campaigned against the financing package. "With the city's current budget crisis, it's unconscionable that the city would use taxpayer dollars on a project that does not benefit the reconstruction efforts of Lower Manhattan," says Jahahara Alkebulan-Ma'at, citywide coordinator for the Alliance for a Working Economy.