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BofA plans to concentrate Manhattan staff at midtown hub

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Bank of America wants to bring more of its New York staff to one hub.

The company is starting renovations on the HBO building and three floors of the Grace Building across from its 55-story tower at One Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan, it said in a statement Wednesday. When the project is completed by 2022, a large portion of the bank’s 13,000 New York employees will be at six properties clustered around Avenue of the Americas.

The new offices will include flexible workspaces, a wellness center and dining and training facilities, and will incorporate solar technology and recycled materials, Bank of America said. The HBO building, at 1100 Avenue of the Americas, and the Grace Building, at 1114 Avenue of the Americas, are owned by Brookfield Property Partners and Swig. Brookfield is conducting the renovation in partnership with the bank.

Nathan Ulery is the managing director of West Monroe, a business objectives consulting firm.
25m ago
Stephen Joseph is segment development manager for banking at Axis Communications.
April 1

The offices “will be designed to offer flexible environments facilitating both collaborative and independent work,” Anne Walker, market president for Bank of America in New York City, said in an emailed statement.

Financial firms have been catching up to technology companies, increasingly seeking out new or revamped office space with open floor plans and more amenities as they look to leave behind the stodgy buildings they’ve inhabited for decades. Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America expanded its presence in New York with the acquisition of Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis.

JPMorgan Chase is tearing down its 52-story office tower at 270 Park Ave. in midtown so it can build a more modern skyscraper of about 70 floors on the site. Several blocks south, SL Green Realty is developing One Vanderbilt, a tower near Grand Central Terminal that has attracted future tenants including Carlyle Group.

Meanwhile, businesses including BlackRock, KKR and Wells Fargo Securities have announced plans to move to Hudson Yards, the new $25 billion development on Manhattan’s far west side that features a shopping mall, fancy restaurants and luxury apartments. HBO also committed to Hudson Yards, a move that’s allowing Bank of America to take its space.

Bank of America has consolidated and modernized offices in nine cities in the U.S., Europe, Asia and South America, reducing its overall real estate portfolio to about 80 million square feet from 120 million square feet in 2010.

Bloomberg News