Sept 7 - Wall Street, once the money capital of the world, is now home to thousands of apartment buildings and restaurants when many powerful banks moved uptown after 9/11. Jill Bennett reports.
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Wall Street has long stood as the symbol of power and capitalism - the financial capital of the world- a mere 8 blocks at the tip of Manhattan.
But that landscape is quickly changing according to Richard Sylla, Professor of Economics and Financial History at New York University's Stern School of Business.
SOUNDBITE: RICHARD SYLLA, PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS & FINANCIAL HISTORY, NYU'S STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"Even before 9/11 there was a trend for the big financial companies the big banks to move their headquarters uptown there was a tendency for some of the investment banks to move their trading operations uptown or to Greenwich, Ct. and what 9/11 did was accelerate that by damaging a lot of the office space there. "
Tax incentives kept some of the big ones downtown...including Goldman Sachs.
BRIDGE: JILL BENNETT, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"The Downtown Alliance estimates there are nearly 85 hundred companies in Lower Manhattan today. Finance does remain the signature industry but a number of new types of companies are coming in because they are attracted to all of the new building that is currently going on."
SOUNDBITE: ADAM FOSTER, SENIOR V.P., CB RICHARD ELLIS (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"In terms of new industry we're seeing down here, not for profit by example William Jefferson Clinton Foundation just moved its headquarters down here, we're seeing engineering, we're seeing publishing and we're seeing law firms."
Adam Foster works for CB Richard Ellis, the leasing agent for some of the new World Trade Center buildings.
Foster says Wall Street will come to represent diversity more so than old finance. It will represent a growing resident base as well. The number of residents in downtown Manhattan has more than doubled since 9/11 and that growth is expected to continue.
SOUNDBITE: RICHARD SYLLA
"I think it's an interesting way in which New York regenerates itself for Wall Street to sort of downshift as far as finance goes but upshift in terms of residential real estate."
Wall Street may indeed never return to its prominence of 50 or 100 years ago, but it will likely always be a symbol of the beginnings of US finance...despite the changing tide of new occupants on the street.
Jill Bennett, Reuters
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