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May 31, 2001

Angry Tenants Fight Big Board in Court

By Sanford Wexler

The New York Stock Exchange's plans for constructing its new 50-story office tower may be delayed.

Angry residential tenants at 45 Wall Street have filed a lawsuit seeking to delay their eviction to make way for the project.

The Big Board is expected to occupy about half of their building which would contain a 40,000-square foot trading floor. The floor would replace the existing facility across the street at 11 Wall Street.

A hearing on the tenants lawsuit has been set for September by the Appellate Division of New York State Supreme Court. Earlier, the tenants' motion to delay eviction at the end of June was denied.

The Empire State Corp., the New York State agency responsible for the development, said in court papers that postponing construction would hurt the project.

Meanwhile, Ralph Nader, the consumer activist and former Green Party presidential candidate, is leading a grassroots campaign against New York City and the State of New York for granting over one billion dollars in subsidies for the NYSE's new 650,000 square-foot complex. He has called the subsidies "corporate welfare."

A spokesman for the NYSE said, "We are not a party to the lawsuit and we plan to continue working with the city and the state to bring the project forward." The existing exchange structure is slated to be transformed into administrative offices for the Big Board.