FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG, GOVERNOR PATAKI AND SPEAKER SILVER WELCOME VERIZON CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS TO LOWER MANHATTAN
Ceremony Celebrates Move of 1,500 Jobs to Lower Manhattan and Rededication of Landmark Building Damaged on September 11, 2001
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor George E. Pataki and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today welcomed Verizon to its new corporate headquarters at 140 West Street in Lower Manhattan. The company plans to move 1,500 jobs to Lower Manhattan from Midtown, and expects to continue employing about 18,000 people throughout the five boroughs. The ceremony also marked the rededication of the landmark building that was badly damaged in the September 11th attacks, adjacent World Trade Center towers. In a twist on the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, the Mayor and other elected officials joined Verizon Chairman Ivan Seidenberg to use a high-tech machine to melt and splice two thin strands of fiber-optic cable. The event symbolized the repairs to the massive switching center also housed at 140 West Street, along with Verizon's work to rebuild communications in Lower Manhattan after the September 11th attacks.
"Verizon is one of our best corporate citizens, and I am delighted the company decided to establish its corporate headquarters in Lower Manhattan and move 1,500 employees to this wonderfully restored building," said Mayor Bloomberg. "On the heels of last week's groundbreaking for Goldman Sachs's new headquarters building just a block away, Verizon's move shows a strong vote of confidence in Lower Manhattan's remarkable recovery and the extraordinary progress we're seeing every day."
"Verizon's return to its newly restored historic headquarters, adjacent to the World Trade Center site, is another great sign of Lower Manhattan's rebirth. Last week we broke ground on Goldman Sachs' new world headquarters across the street and today I am pleased to welcome Verizon and 1,500 employees back to their corporate headquarters and rightful home in Lower Manhattan. With each commitment to downtown, we send a strong signal to the global business community that New York is still the financial capital of the world. Verizon joins over 75 other large companies and thousands of small businesses that have made a commitment to Lower Manhattan. It's this kind of renewed commitment that will help take Lower Manhattan into the future and further its transformation into a vibrant 24/7 mixed-use community."
"I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Verizon for relocating its corporate headquarters here to 140 West Street, and I congratulate Chairman Seidenberg on the reconstruction and restoration of this landmark building and survivor of the September 11 attacks," said Assembly Speaker Silver. "These actions are indicative of Verizon's boundless compassion, pride and patriotism, and an inspiring display of the commitment, vision and leadership that Lower Manhattan so desperately needs in order to remain the business and financial capital of the world."
"Today we celebrate more than the rebirth of a landmark building," said Verizon CEO Seidenberg. "We take a moment to recognize the resiliency that our employees share with all New Yorkers. This painstakingly restored building and the people who work here reflect our dedication and commitment to this great city."
"As one of New York City's largest employers, Verizon is a valuable contributor to New York City's economy and plays an integral role in the fabric of our City," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff. "By moving its corporate headquarters downtown the company will make an enormous contribution to Lower Manhattan's continuing recovery, and I thank the people of Verizon for their continuing support and dedication to New York City."
During the September 11th attacks, the former 7 World Trade Center building collapsed against 140 West Street, causing severe damage. Verizon spent four years restoring the original architectural elements and upgrading the building, recently receiving the highest award for the restoration project from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The restored facility has an enhanced building fire-alarm system, a fire-command station, a new fire-suppression system and an eight-megawatt emergency power unit.
Built in 1926 as the original headquarters for New York Telephone, the building houses the principal offices for Verizon's senior leadership and board of directors, as well as for the company's domestic telecom unit serving customers in the Northeast. It will also serve as the headquarters for Verizon in New York. Designed by Ralph Walker, 140 West Street was one of the first art deco skyscrapers built in the City. Completed in 1926, the building defined the skyline of Lower Manhattan for many years and was designated as a City landmark in 1991.
There is nearly $10 billion worth of public and private investment underway on the World Trade Center site and in the surrounding area. At the World Trade Center site, the reconstruction of the underground infrastructure, which includes utilities, heating/cooling and parking, will be completed by 2009. The Santiago Calatrava designed PATH Station is fully-funded and construction is underway, and is expected to be completed in 2009. The World Trade Center Memorial is on schedule for construction to begin in 2006 with expected opening in 2009. The demolition of the Deutsche Bank Building has begun and is expected to be finished by 2007.
In addition to the ongoing rebuilding effort at the site, the City's Vision for Lower Manhattan, unveiled in December 2002, outlined a series of improvements to revitalize downtown, all of which are well underway. The blueprint for revitalization includes the area south of Houston Street, and focuses on creating great public places, a world-class transportation infrastructure while supporting Lower Manhattan's commercial and residential neighborhoods.
Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Joanna Rose (Governor Pataki)
Michael Sherman/Andrew Brent (Economic Development Corp.)
Eric Rabe/Lark-Marie Antón (Verizon) (212) 395-0500
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