NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — Another business titan confirms it is eyeing a move out of New York City.
In a statement to NewsNation, Wall Street investment firm Goldman Sachs says it’s looking to move workers to other major centers, in what would be a huge blow to New York’s status at the top of the financial services sector.
“As announced at our investor day in January,” the company said, “We are executing on the strategy of locating more jobs in high-value locations throughout the U.S., but we have no specific plans to announce at this time.”
Bloomberg, which broke the news, reported the company’s been considering moving its asset management division, which generates about $8 billion annually.
At January’s investor day, Goldman indicated it would try to cut approximately $1.3 billion in costs by moving staff to cheaper locations. The proposed move south is believed to involve the Ft. Lauderdale area, but Dallas may also be on the company’s radar.
“I really think remote work, plus high taxes, are game-changers,” said the Manhattan Institute’s Michael Hendrix, in reference to one of the key lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic: the amount of work that can be accomplished outside of a traditional — and in the case of Manhattan, very expensive — office setting.
Over the summer, the Manhattan Institute conducted a study of the major issues facing New York from the perspective of its citizens and found a high degree of symmetry between their concerns and those of its business leaders.
“When they were concerned about the future of New York City, they cited quality of life, crime and cost of living,” said Hendrix. “Goldman Sachs is not alone. The regular person on the street corners of New York is concerned about the same things.”
If it goes through with a move to Florida, Goldman will have company in another respect; two other major Wall Street firms, Citadel and the Blackstone Group, are also expanding their presence in the Sunshine State.
Were Goldman Sachs to follow, the impact on the city’s white collar bottom-line would be dramatic.
But even as major financial firms consider abandoning the city where their legacies were built, big tech is moving in — and in some cases doubling-down.
Facebook, despite the pandemic, has agreed to lease all the office space in the former main post office in Midtown. Google, which already has a massive New York presence, is moving ahead with the construction of a 1.7 million square foot campus in lower Manhattan.
“So, what are these tech giants signaling to New York City?” asks Robert Pini, a Real Estate Agent at Compass. “I think one of the things that they’re telling us is that New York’s one of the few places in the world that has a diverse, world-class talent pool — and that’s what these companies are seeking.”
They may also be seeking a deal on real estate. By some estimates, Manhattan has an inventory of vacant office space rivaled only by the period immediately following 9/11. Residential vacancies are high as well, as people escape from New York for reasons far beyond the pandemic.