Citi Looks at Suburban Real Estate, While MasterCard Tells Its Workers to Stay Home

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Two of the country’s largest financial companies are mulling very different real estate strategies to protect their employees from the coronavirus in New York City and nationwide. 

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MasterCard, which leases an entire building at 114 Fifth Avenue, already told its employees that they can work from home until they feel comfortable coming into the office and the virus is under control with a vaccine or other measures, Reuters reported Wednesday. The world’s second-largest payment processor, which is headquartered in Purchase, N.Y., is also looking at consolidating its offices. It employs about 20,000 workers globally.

“We expect in the coming weeks and months that more employees will continue to work from home than come into office,” Michael Fraccaro, the company’s chief people officer, told the wire service. “And we are OK with that. We support that choice.”

Meanwhile, Citigroup is considering suburban outposts for its tri-state employees who are too nervous to commute into its Downtown Manhattan headquarters, Bloomberg reported this week. 

The banking giant is considering short-term leases for furnished office space in Westchester, Long Island and New Jersey, sources told Bloomberg. 

RXR is also reportedly fielding leasing inquiries from major financial companies for its Long Island office properties. 

Citi recently spent millions renovating its massive headquarters at 388 Greenwich Street, in order to house more employees and combine its 39-story office tower with an adjacent nine story building. The revamped space is supposed to house 12,000 employees—up from 9,000—by eliminating assigned desks from 19 floors, in favor of a hot-desking model with storage lockers. 

The company’s lease at One Court Square in Long Island City also ends later this year, but it will keep 1,000 employees at neighboring Two Court Square.