Embattled bank JPMorgan Chase, the recipient of $25 billion in TARP funds, is going ahead with a $138 million plan to buy two new luxury corporate jets and build “the premiere corporate aircraft hangar on the eastern seaboard” to house them, ABC News has learned.
The financial giant’s upgrade includes nearly $120 million for two Gulfstream 650 planes and $18 million for a lavish renovation of a hangar at the Westchester Airport outside New York City.
A public hearing will be held by Westchester County officials tonight regarding JPMorgan’s request for new hangar space.
According to JPMorgan Chase architects, the new hangar will be built with reclaimed wood, quarry tile and even a “vegetated roof garden.”
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
The Gulfstream 650’s are described by the manufacturer as the “fastest,” “widest” and “most comfortable” private jet ever with superior cabin amenities, an optional stateroom, and 12 interior designs to choose from.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
“It’s a remarkably boneheaded decision,” said corporate watchdog Nell Minow, the editor and founder of The Corporate Library, a group that provides independent corporate governance research and analysis. “It’s completely tone deaf.”
Mike Dolphin, president of fixed-based operator Avitat Westchester, is fighting the bank’s grand plans because he says JPMorgan’s proposed expansion would force his company out of the hangar the bank is eyeing. Westchester County, NY has recommended that the bank a “high quality corporate citizen” be awarded the lease to the hangar when it becomes available in April 2010, in part, because of how much money it is dedicating for the “construction of a state of the art “green building.””