NEW YORK CITY—In June 2017, New York state and city officials, and Aetna had announced the insurance company’s plans to move its headquarters from Hartford, CT. to New York City as reported in GlobeSt.com.
The insurance company planned to move in late 2018 into the 165,000 square-foot, Vornado Realty Trust property at 61 Ninth Ave. in Chelsea.
Empire State Development offered Aetna $24 million in performance–based tax credits over 10 years. The New York City Economic Development Corp. planned to give Aetna $9.6 million in incentives. The city incentives included $4.25 million in sale tax benefits; New York City Industrial Development Agency property tax benefits valued at $3.8 million over 10 years and enhanced sale tax benefits and a business incentive rate discount valued at $1.5 million over 10 years.
In December 2017, Aetna and pharmacy giant CVS agreed to merge.
When asked about the merger, its impacts on relocating Aetna’s headquarters to New York and the lease on the Chelsea building, T.J. Crawford, executive director, head of media relations and reputation at Aetna said: “All Aetna locations will be evaluated as part of the integration planning process. We have nothing additional to share at this time.”
An Empire State Development spokesperson tells GlobeSt.com that as the incentives are performance-based at this time the state had no reason to cancel them and the incentives still stand. The agency spokesperson said: “The New York State incentives offered are 100% performance-based. To earn any of the credits, firms must first meet and maintain the established job and investment thresholds.”
Crain’s had reported that the de Blasio administration cancelled the $9.6 million incentive package. The mayor’s office referred GlobeSt.com’s query about the city incentives to the NYCEDC.
“We are unable to move forward with the proposed assistance package at this time,” a NYCEDC spokesperson tells GlobeSt.com. When asked the reason why, the spokesperson declined to provide further information. The mayor’s office did not otherwise respond to questions about whether the city tax incentive plan was cancelled, or whether it could be revived in the future.
A source familiar with the transaction confirmed that Aetna’s lease with Vornado is still in force.