Royal Bank Of Scotland building headquarters in Stamford, Conn.

Apr. 22--STAMFORD -- The woes of the financial services industry haven't interfered with The Royal Bank of Scotland's construction of a curvy, glass-and-terra cotta headquarters across Washington Boulevard from rival UBS, evident from I-95 and the...


"Instead of building the tallest tower, it spreads out," he said.

Also in European fashion, RBS expects many workers to commute by train, though the project includes a 2,000-car garage that Ferris took pains to integrate into the main structure "as a base the building rises from" and wraps around.

Terra cotta-colored aluminum blades running across the exterior relate the garage's facade to terra cotta in the main office building.Since UBS moved to town a decade ago, Stamford has won a reputation in New York's financial services community as an affordable yet nearby alternative to New York. It's also closer to the Fairfield County homes of many Wall Street executives. In the last 10 years, Stamford has enjoyed a period of prominence and prosperity that has attracted major development unseen since the 1980s.

Besides the RBS project, several commercial and residential projects are under way or in the planning stages, including the 34-story Trump Parc luxury condominium and a 198-room Ritz Carlton hotel -- Connecticut's first -- that will incorporate parts of Stamford's old post office. The Ritz location is about a block from the RBS building.

There are some signs that tough times on Wall Street and tight credit markets have delayed some projects, and at least temporarily dampened interest among some firms that had been exploring a move to Stamford.

"We don't see right now major relocations out to Stamford," said Joseph McGee, a former state economic development official and now a vice president with The Business Council of Fairfield County.

"There's going to be a major realignment of banks in New York. Until that sorts itself out, relocation decisions are pretty much on hold."

McGee said the council has had no indication from RBS that its project is in jeopardy.

"We don't have a concern there," he said. "That looks pretty solid."

Contact Eric Gershon at .

Copyright (c) 2008, The Hartford Courant, Conn. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.