Tear Down a 52 Story Building to Build a 70 Story Building, Why Not?

JP Morgan Chase, destroyer of worlds, really wants a bigger, shinier newer building than the 52 story skyscraper it has inhabited at 270 Park Avenue in New York for decades.  But it doesn’t want to have to change its stationery… I mean if you change addresses, there’s a shit ton of envelopes and letterhead, not to mention all of the records of all of the hundreds of entities that call 270 Park Avenue home that would have to change.  It’s a nightmare.

So just  tear that old building down and build your dream skyscraper on the same site.

JPMorgan Chase announced on Wednesday that it will demolish its headquarters on Park Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets and build a new 70-story world headquarters on the site for its 15,000 employees.

“With a new headquarters at 270 Park Ave.,” the bank’s chairman and chief executive, Jamie Dimon, said in a statement, “we are recommitting ourselves to New York City while also ensuring that we operate in a highly efficient and world-class environment for the 21st century.”

I’ve watched in my suburban hellhole as one chain restaurant closes and another buys the property only to inexplicably raze the building and build anew.   It kind of makes sense to me that an Olive Garden could exist in the facility that formerly housed a another Italian food chain.  Hell, they’re both purveyors of Italian food.  But even if it was a Ruby Tuesdays or a Famous Dave’s, it’s a restaurant.  There’s a kitchen and a dining room.  Do you have to build that from scratch?  Apparently yes, because they always seem to raze the old structure (which isn’t all that old) and build a brand new one.  It’s quite a waste of materials that head right to a landfill, because no doubt it’s cheaper for the owners to destroy and rebuild than to renovate.

In this case, JP Morgan could easily find another spot in Manhattan island to build that 70 story tower and then just sell the 52 story tower.  But no, there’s financial incentives to stay right there and build.  So 52 stories of glass, steel, dry wall, wiring, pipes, vents, ceiling panels, etc. will come down and be carted off to garbage dumps.  And the city is thrilled about this deal.

I’m disgusted.

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