NEW YORK – In a move to consolidate its operations and contribute to the flourishing lower Manhattan and Brooklyn economies, Verizon plans to market about half of its building at 140 West Street for either lease or sale to outside parties, while significantly boosting its employee presence in downtown Brooklyn.
This week, the company is inviting several real estate investors to assess the value of the West Street building’s space and submit plans for possible use. As the city moves forward with major enhancements to the World Trade Center complex, it is anticipated that possible uses could include residential and hotel space.
While Verizon intends to keep its headquarters in Manhattan, the company plans to market 18 of the upper floors of its 31-story West Street building, while retaining floors one through 10 for employees and associated communications facilities. The company is also exploring the possibility of marketing the ground-floor space in the building for potential retail, restaurant and other storefront opportunities.
Any changes to the building would involve the approval of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, since the building’s lobby and exterior are designated as New York City landmarks.
“Lower Manhattan – especially the World Trade Center neighborhood – is destined to be an important tourist and commercial center for the world, and the plan that Verizon is proposing is in concert with that grand vision for the area,” said John Vazquez, Verizon vice president of global real estate. “Our long-term vision for our building preserves its historic character while complementing the thriving economy and community in lower Manhattan.”
In connection with the marketing of the space and any future real estate deal, the company is moving approximately 1,100 employees -- most of them customer service representatives -- to a Verizon-occupied building at 395 Flatbush Ave. Extension in Brooklyn. Some 300 employees are currently located there. The company is making enhancements to the building, including a fitness center, centralized training facilities and other improvements.
“This is a real shot in the arm to the Brooklyn economy and the New York City economy in general,” said Carlo A. Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “Verizon and its employees will find Brooklyn a thriving, inviting and enjoyable experience for a major part of their operation. By creating a regional call center in our borough, and at the same time developing its grand vision for its iconic building in lower Manhattan, Verizon has exhibited its commitment to New York City and these great centers of commerce and growth. We look forward to welcoming these employees to Brooklyn.”
Verizon has conducted sales of parts of its buildings in New York City and elsewhere. Notably, the company has sold parts of its buildings at 1095 Avenue of the Americas and at 375 Pearl St., while maintaining its communications equipment and related facilities at both locations.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with nearly 99 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with nearly $116 billion in 2012 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 181,900. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
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