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Firms Relocate to Midtown

More than a month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, firms whose offices were destroyed are still dealing with the relocation process. This month both OppenheimerFunds and Fred Alger Management, investment managers that were actually located in the towers, announced that they have signed leases elsewhere in Manhattan and are planning to move displaced employees in to the new offices soon.

OppenheimerFunds had 598 employees working in Two World Trade Center, all of whom survived. The firm has signed a lease for office space at 498 Seventh Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, which is where the displaced employees will relocate, according to a company spokesman. The company expects to open that office by the end of the year.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Oppenheimer had plans to relocate a large portion of those workers to a new development in Jersey City, N.J., in addition to the new Seventh Avenue location. According to the spokesman, however, that is unsubstantiated and all 598 employees will move to the 150,000-square foot midtown office.

Alger will reopen its headquarters in the Constable Building at 111 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan soon and should resume business in the new location by the end of the year, said Fred Alger, who resumed as the firm's CEO after his brother David was killed in the attacks. The firm had 55 employees in its World Trade Center office, 38 of which were killed.

The new office will occupy the entire second and third floors of the building and will house the firm's primary research, trading, and client service functions. The firm will continue to keep support offices in Jersey City and Morristown, N.J., where it has been operating since Sept. 11.

"New York City is the world's financial capital, and has been for decades," Alger said. "There is no question in my mind that New York will recover from the recent terrorist attacks, and will continue and enhance its role as the world's financial capital. For that reason it now makes sense for us to return."

Deutsche Asset Management has had to find space for 5,000 employees who worked in four downtown locations, mostly in 130 Liberty Street, according to a spokeswoman. Although the offices were not destroyed, the company has been forced to move its employees for an undetermined amount of time, the spokewoman said. The firm is waiting for city officials to assess any structural damage to the buildings, however there is no indication as to when that might be.

Because the move looks to be temporary, Deutsche has not acquired any extra office space, the spokeswoman said. Instead, the firm has put the employees in existing locations in New Jersey and Midtown Manhattan.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is in the midst of relocating its Northeast Regional Office to a 140,000-square foot space in the Woolworth Building in lower Manhattan. Its previous location was 7 World Trade Center.