Open Phones: Stamford vs. NYC

Monday, June 13, 2011

The giant Swiss bank UBS is considering moving their North American headquarters back to New York City from Stamford, CT where they moved 15 years ago. They are reportedly worried that they're losing young talent by being based out in the suburbs. 

Stamford residents/workers: Make your case for or against living or working in Stamford. NYC residents/workers: Is having to work in Stamford a deal-breaker? Call us at 212-433-WNYC or comment here!

Comments [21]


The arguments some of the pro-Stamford callers make seemed pretty weak. One of them talked about a walking group, which I'm pretty sure would only be comprised of old people. Connecticut and suburbs as a whole are very diluted in terms of culture. There is less diversity and less ethnic restaurants. It seems that these older callers were just offended that a group of people weren't attracted to Stamford instead of addressing the issues other callers brought up such as traffic, dirty parks and a lack of diversity. As a minority myself, I would never imagine living in such a diversity-lacking place. What Stamford and Connecticut in general lacks is culture and life, which I think would come from being inclusive to minorities, rather than reinforcing the idea of Connecticut as a beacon of the white upper class.

Jun. 13 2011 01:44 PM
Alfredo from Hartford, CT

It's not Stamford per se, it's CT as a whole. It is a complete drag to live here if you are a young person. Blue laws that have liquor stores close at 9pm the LATEST. No alcohol purchase on Sun. Restaurants and shopping are great, but if everyone is in bed by 11pm, and anyone that is up after that is "disturbing the peace", then why would any younger person want to live in CT? It's just plain boring there...

Jun. 13 2011 11:36 AM
David Aronowitz from Riverdale

It is obvious those callers from Stamford do not get it - the issue is attracting younger generation to UBS which it has failed that is a fact.

It is obvious and a natural response those Stamford residents feel slighted or offended thus they have to defend their town or city but the issue still remains attracting younger generation.

The answer is younger generation prefer Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island sorry Stamford.

Jun. 13 2011 11:27 AM
Jake from Nassau County

The main advantage of NYC is all that public transportation means businesses can tap a much larger talent pool: Commuters from Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, NJ, LI, CT, Westchester. The problem with Stamford as a business location is that they pretty much can practically hire only from CT, Westchester, and maybe Manhattan.

Jun. 13 2011 11:26 AM
art525 from Park Slope

I don't have a dog in this fight but it seemed to me that Jillian who called in was working for the chamber of commerce. She had too much of her argument down pat. Maybe the caller after her too. All I know of Stamford is the few times I passed through going to Maine and it is impossible to drive on I 95 and I always think "who would want to live here and deal with this all the time"? After a couple of frustrating traffic jams, including one at 4AM I got wise and now take 84 to avoid the I 95 corridor. I grew up in the burbs and I wouldn't live there again if you paid me though unfortunately Park Slope has pretty much become the burbs. I wish a lot of these folks could be induced to follow Jillian's suggestion and move to Stamford.

Jun. 13 2011 11:24 AM
Daniel Lilie from San Diego


I am a Stamford native and grew up there in the 60s and 70s. The City has always suffered from a lack of identity--too big to be a town and too small to be a City. The downtown was an economic reflex to urban blight and ceding large swaths over to FD Rich and company, and the waterfront, cut off from i-95 has never related to the City as a whole. The planning for downtown has been abysmal--with the exception of a short stretch of Summer Street, the downtown suffers from horrendous pedestrian access and woefully few amenities for a city its size.

Jun. 13 2011 11:23 AM

why can't people have kids in the city?

Jun. 13 2011 11:22 AM

Stamford's local enconomy will suffer from the UBS exit. Who is going to occupy their massive buildings?

Jun. 13 2011 11:21 AM
Ken from Soho

What does "UBS" stand for, anyway? Is a secret, or are they ashamed of their name?

Jun. 13 2011 11:20 AM
Meg from Stamford, CT

UBS has brought substantial support to the Arts of all stripes, the Food Bank, the museums. That support, should they move, will be sorely missed. RBS seems to be a great neighbor and has been supportive but it was great to have two large banks here.

Jun. 13 2011 11:20 AM
j.w. from stamford, ct

Stamford has road signs everywhere that say 'The City that Works!'

UBS is one of the biggest realizations of that saying, and if they leave, it probably won't hurt too much - but it won't look good either.

That said, if you aren't tied down by family/friends connections who live closeby or a mortgage, I would say the average 20-something would by far prefer manhattan. Not that stamford is bad - it isn't at all - but its not manhattan. And its expensive to settle down in stamford, too.

Jun. 13 2011 11:18 AM
John from NYC

Beginning in the 1960s and continuing now, Stamford committed its development as pro auto, anti pedestrian. Now it is paying the price.

Jun. 13 2011 11:18 AM
Neil from Park Slope

Your caller promoting Stanford, Connecticut (and rightly so, it's a nice place) said everyone in their 20's who wants to work in Manhattan will ALL MOVE BACK TO CONNECTICUT TO RAISE THEIR FAMILIES. They may have been true 20 years ago. But it's not today. Your caller should visit the New York City neighborhoods of Williamsburg, Dumbo, Long Island City, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill or Park Slope. Because if she did, she would know that's where lots of these folks live today.

Jun. 13 2011 11:17 AM
Alaina from Weehawken

The biggest problem is that half of the young people at UBS work in the city and the other half in Stamford. There is plenty for 20-somethings to do in Stamford, but when coworkers try to get together in groups, whether in Stamford or NYC, someone will always have a long commute home at the end of the night.

Jun. 13 2011 11:16 AM
James from Nyack

Huge Indicator for what is happening in Stamford: A brand new giant fairway!
And a bonus: they sell wine and beer too!!

Jun. 13 2011 11:16 AM
Meg from Stamford, CT

Lived here 13 years now so husband could commute to Manhattan. Found Stamford isn't well managed city, found Malloy, now our Governor, to be tone deaf to anything but development. UBS has brought great restaurants, a good real estate market but also the HORRIBLE Trump high rise that doesn't fit the city at all. The city has always been in bed with the Rich family (developers) and the downtown lacks soul, history and civic pride. No sidewalks, just a real regard for development. Sad.

Jun. 13 2011 11:15 AM
bernie from bklyn

this is why the argument that these gluttonous bankers will never leave nyc because it's the best city in the world. tax the living sh*it out of these mongrels and their bonuses.

Jun. 13 2011 11:13 AM
jeff sterling from nyc

stamford is a great place to die.

UBS can attest to that

Jun. 13 2011 11:13 AM
Mary from NYC

You couldn't pay me to work/live in the burbs.

Jun. 13 2011 11:11 AM
Jason Brett from nyc

no public transportaion in stamford.

hopefully bloomberg will giv ethem a tax break to come back

Jun. 13 2011 11:02 AM

they are coming back to pay those high taxes that pay for this city to be as great as any world class city.

keep the artists here also!

Jun. 13 2011 10:56 AM

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