Frenetic Construction on New York’s Billionaires Row Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

Frenetic Construction on New York’s Billionaires Row Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

From my office, I am perched in a position where I can see all of the construction in midtown Manhattan.   I saw the crane blow over on top of the Park Hyatt in September 2012 two days before we were struck by Superstorm Sandy.

I think that that may pale in comparison with what is going on now.

There are three major building sites that are each already extending well over 1400 feet into the sky and not topped out.   If you look at the picture above, you will see cranes high into the sky and these are from left-to-right:

111 West 57th Street

53 West 53rd Street (the Jean Nouvel Moma Tower)

The Park Hyatt (completed in 2013)

Central Park Tower (255 West 57th Street)

There are many more high-rise projects throughout Manhattan that aren’t even visible here.

As we head through the summer, we are seeing a perfect storm - rising interest rates, an overbought New York property market at its highest levels, and more-and-more very high-end inventory properties flooding the market (with fewer and fewer non-US buyers).   Developers are eager to close to maintain (avoid losing) the contracts they have and to try to battle upon completion for the last remaining bits.

I see all these cranes working at a frenetic pace every morning, lifting extraordinarily heavily machinery.

While construction in New York is very tightly regulated, the pace is unparalleled and I am afraid we could see one or more very serious accidents here very soon.

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