August 13, 1996 in Nation/World

Nyse May Leave Historic Address

Bloomberg Business News
 

The New York Stock Exchange said it’s considering a move from the Wall Street address it has occupied for 93 years to a new, larger space in lower Manhattan.

An NYSE spokesman said exchange executives are discussing the possibility of relocating, as the Big Board continues to grow and list new companies. The exchange added a record number of companies to its roster during the first half of 1996.

“We’re in the very early stages of another examination of our needs,” said spokesman Andrew Yemma. “We’ve done these periodically.”

Yemma said no decision had been made to abandon the 18 Broad St. building the NYSE has occupied since April 23, 1903. That was the year the then 111-year old exchange moved into a newly built building, a site that has since become a Wall Street landmark. “We’re not moving anytime soon,” Yemma said.

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said he was contacted by Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso about the possibility of moving the exchange to a new location in Manhattan.

“He is committed to New York, and he wants to remain in New York, in Manhattan,” Giuliani said. “He wanted to look for a place for a more modern exchange.”

Giuliani said discussions about a move were preliminary and could go on for three or four months. He wouldn’t speculate on possible relocation sites for the exchange.

The NYSE last month recorded its busiest week in its 204-year history, as 2.486 billion shares traded hands during the week of July 14. It has improved its computer systems to a point where the Big Board boasts its system could handle 2.4 billion shares traded during a single day.

Some traders and market makers complain the floor has become increasingly crowded, and some question how much renovation and renewal the building can withstand.

In 1903, the exchange traded 160.7 million shares during the entire year. Today, the NYSE trades an average of 420 million shares a day, Yemma said.

The current proposal is the latest in a string of discussions the Big Board has had in recent years. Last year, Chairman Richard Grasso met with the exchange’s specialists to discuss moving some of the specialists’ posts across the street to 30 Broad St. That proposal was never adopted.

In 1992, the NYSE and rival American Stock Exchange considered another relocation proposal, this one offered by J.P. Morgan & Co. to move into a site to be built adjacent to the Big Board’s current location. That proposal was later shelved as well.


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