July 30, 2002
Bear Stearns Cos., the sixth-biggest U.S. securities firm, may move 1,500
employees from Brooklyn to New Jersey, said the property broker helping the
securities firm with its search.
Bears Stearns' 320,000-square-foot lease at the MetroTech office complex in
Downtown Brooklyn expires in 2004. The landlord, Forest City Ratner, has
offered to renew the lease at a rent Bear Stearns thinks is too high, said
the broker, David Levinson of Insignia/ESG. Forest City executives didn't
"New Jersey is all over us," said Levinson, adding that the firm is also
looking at space in lower Manhattan and Long Island City. New Jersey
landlords "are making a lot of attractive offers," said Levinson.
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Fidelity Investments and other
companies are moving thousands of workers out of New York City to cut costs
and disperse staff after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The defections are
hurting New York's tax revenue, and will contribute, along with a slumping
stock market and a drop in Wall Street profits, to a $6 billion budget
deficit through 2005, city officials have said.
New York "is committed to encouraging an employer as important as Bear
Stearns to stay in Brooklyn and to remain in New York City," said Lynn Rasic,
a spokeswoman for the Economic Development Corp., a city agency.
Of the 62,467 jobs that have left downtown since Sept. 11, 17,575 have gone
to New Jersey, 37,687 have gone to midtown and 7,205 have gone elsewhere,
according to TenantWise.com, a property brokerage.
Bear Stearns keeps administrative, securities processing and accounting
functions at MetroTech. Forest City, developer of the 8-million-square-foot
complex, made an "over-market offer" to keep Bear Stearns, he said. Bear
Stearns spokesman Russell Sherman declined to comment.
Levinson wouldn't disclose Forest City's offer or what Bear Stearns is
paying in rent. In November, Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield agreed to pay
$36 a foot for about the same amount of space at MetroTech as occupied by
Bear Stearns, while receiving $14 million in tax and energy incentives from
©2002 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved.