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State Street says goodbye to Manhattan offices, but does not intend to bail on Boston

The financial services firm says it remains on track to occupy part of the One Congress tower under construction.

State Street Financial Corp. has agreed to lease 500,000 square feet in the One Congress office tower under construction in downtown Boston.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

State Street Corp. confirmed on Monday that it will shutter its two offices in New York City, and have roughly 500 employees work either remotely or elsewhere. But the Boston-based financial services giant said it has no plans for a similar change here.

State Street told its New York employees in May that it would close two midtown Manhattan offices, and gave them the option of working from home, at one of several satellite offices in New Jersey and Connecticut, or at co-working space the company plans to lease in Manhattan. The move was reported Monday by the Wall Street Journal. It’s one of several big banks rethinking its relationship to the nation’s capital of finance following the COVID-19 pandemic.


“Like most other companies, we have seen our employees adapt quickly to working remotely,” the company said in a statement. “We intend to capture and adopt the new ways of working that have arisen during the COVID crisis so that we make the improvements and make adjustments as needed.”

State Street, however, said it remains full steam ahead for plans to move into a 500,000-square-foot office currently under construction at the One Congress office tower atop the Government Center garage.

State Street announced a 15-year lease in 2019 for the bottom half of the 600-foot tower, which is on track to open in 2023. The company has said several times that it intends to move in when the building opens, and a spokesman reaffirmed those plans Monday.

One Congress is one of several large office towers — totaling more than 3 million square feet of space — under construction in downtown Boston, and the only one with a substantial tenant announced. The office market has slowed dramatically since COVID-19 hit in the spring of 2020. Companies are reassessing their needs, and vacancy rates are at their highest level in years — though brokers say they’ve seen an uptick in activity in recent months.


State Street has been pushing to pare costs in recent years, cutting jobs and reducing its real estate footprint. The company has subleased some space in its current headquarters at One Lincoln Street downtown.

The company does plan to return to that office, though, bringing employees back on a hybrid basis in September. Those plans have not changed despite the rise in COVID-19 cases tied to the Delta variant, a spokesman said, though State Street last week said that any employees working in its US offices will need to be vaccinated, as of Sept. 13.

Tim Logan can be reached at timothy.logan@globe.com. Follow him @bytimlogan.