Citi is making room for an Amazon takeover of its iconic building in New York's Long Island City.
The bank said Tuesday that in the first half of 2019 it will move about 1,100 employees out of its space at One Court Square, one of the most recognizable towers outside Manhattan. Roughly 3,000 Citi (C) employees currently work in the building, which overlooks the East River and has long carried Citi's logo.
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That will allow Amazon (AMZN) to get in sooner, accelerating its transformation of the surrounding area. The tech company plans to lease 1 million square feet of office space in the skyscraper for its new headquarters, according to a statement from the building owner.
"As we have been consolidating our people in our global headquarters in Tribeca, we have still maintained a significant presence in Long Island City," Citi CEO Michael Corbat said in a statement. "But given what it would mean to New York and Long Island City to have Amazon establish a significant presence here, we want to do our part to make this possible."
Citi, whose lease at One Court Square reportedly runs out in 2020, had previously planned to reduce its footprint at the building. But ahead of Amazon's arrival, the bank intends to speed up the process, according to a person with knowledge of the plans.
Amazon said Tuesday that its second headquarters will be split between Long Island City and Northern Virginia. The company intends to invest $2.5 billion in both locations, which will each have more than 25,000 workers.
Meanwhile, Citi is working to pare down its real estate in New York City. The bank in 2015 began to move its headquarters from Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan to two massive buildings in the Tribeca neighborhood of lower Manhattan.
About 12,000 Citi employees will work at the new headquarters when floor-by-floor renovations finish up in 2019.
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