Introducing Ghost Skyscrapers... In New York City

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Late last month, New York Magazine published a lengthy and very important article titled: Stash Pad – Why New York Real Estate is the New Swiss Bank Account. The entire article is well worth a read, and left me shaking my head in disbelief the entire time. As someone who grew up in New York City, it’s a real shame to see the continued transformation of Manhattan into nothing more than an oligarch playground, or as I sometimes like to call it, “Disneyland for Wall Street.”

One of the most shocking and disturbing revelations from that article was the fact that:

“The Census Bureau estimates that 30 percent of all apartments in the quadrant from 49th to 70th Streets between Fifth and Park are vacant at least ten months a year.”

One of the highlighted building in the New York Magazine article is the 1,000 foot ultra-luxury development known as One 57. We learn more about this beast from My FOXNY:

NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - New York City has never been known for its affordability, but a new crop of mega-luxury buildings in Manhattan are redefining sky-high prices. One 57 is the 1,000-foot high building looming over Central Park where an apartment has closed for as much as $90 million.


Jonathan Miller appraises the units at One 57. He said if you were to walk by at night the skyscraper would be largely dark because a majority of the units’ owners are international and don’t live here. They are using the apartments strictly as investments.


The new mega-luxury developments are part of the changing face of New York City real estate, said Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban policy and planning at NYU’s Wagner School.

In the video segment attached to the article, Mr. Moss (who looks a bit like a younger Barney Frank) notes: “New York is a safe haven for financially powerful people from around the world.”

Indeed, a safe haven for bailed out criminal global bankers. I agree.

I’m sorry, but there is nothing healthy about this. As I highlighted yesterday, it appears The Bank of China is facilitating money laundering for wealthy Chinese to move dirty money overseas and park it in real estate. The article is titled, Chinese Purchases of U.S. Real Estate Jump 72% as The Bank of China Facilitates Money Laundering, and noted that in some California communities 90% of purchases are being made by the Chinese. 

This should not be seen as a surprise given the fact that Central Bank and government policy worldwide is to funnel all money to the 0.01%, while the rest of the 1% treads water, and the 99% are rapidly pushed into debt serfdom. Never forget the extremely powerful chart below from the post, Where Does the Real Problem Reside? Two Charts Showing the 0.01% vs. the 1%:

Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 9.23.25 PM

Welcome to Planet Oligarchy, where empty skyscrapers loom over the hordes of freedom-hating, destitute slaves.

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CrazyCooter's picture

I know folks who actually grew up in/around NYC. Not everyone from NY is a douche bag (but it has more than its fair share).

That said, when things really unravel, I can't imagine this is a place anyone would want to be. Banking/finance is bumping up against the limits of growth on the planet.

Smart people need to be smart; get your ass into an industry that PRODUCES SOMETHING USEFUL. Otherwise, congrats on the ex-wife.



IridiumRebel's picture

I experienced New York during Hurricane Sandy. I promptly moved a 1000 miles inward to a much less populated place within the year. We humans can break down to primal instincts within hours if not minutes in the right(or wrong) setting. Yeah, you don't wanna be in NYC when the Fit hits the Shan.

Yen Cross's picture

  Iridium you handled that situation like a gentleman.

IridiumRebel's picture

Nothing a Winchester, Generator and 20 gallons of fuel couldn't handle. Funny thing is that it was a vacation for me. My daughter learned to walk that week. I rented movies, made stew and kept watch. Seeing the gas lines and being in a neighborhood at night with the only light for miles was what caught my attention.

Four chan's picture

new york is where money goes to die in a maze of worthless rat holes.

CrazyCooter's picture

It wasn't NY, but I totally left my big city behind. It will happen in a lot of places, not just NY.

I grew up in smaller towns and spent most of my professional career in large urban settings. Finally getting back to a decent small town was invigorating.

Not sure I will ever go back to urban again.



IridiumRebel's picture

I won't. I love knowing my neighbors and seeing kids ride their bikes down the street with no fear because they can. Boys next door play baseball nightly. My tomatoes are coming in. I have dinner with my parents who live 2 minutes away from my job and 15 minutes away from our house. Wife's job will be walking distance by the fall if things work out. We commuted for hours in NYC. We have so much time now. We grill and as a person who grew his first veggies, your respect your food when you're the one growing it. Best goddamned squash ever. I pity those who don't know how simple and awesome life can be. You just have to make it happen.

El Vaquero's picture

Heh, I planted some seed from a Zucchini that I saved last year without doing anything to ensure that the pollination was from another zucchini.  Today I noticed a decent sized squash on the plant behind some leaves.  It turns out it's a yellow squash/zucchini F1 hybrid.  It was shaped like a yellow straight neck, but is a light yellowish green.  Of course, the first thing I did was to bring it inside, wash it and start slicing it up to see if it was any good.  It was very good.  Closer to yellow squash in flavor, but lighter in texture with a distinct sweetness.  Now we'll have to see if I can get some patty pan genetics in that line.  I have a whole shitload of seed that I saved, and squash seed stays good for a few years.  I'm going to start moving away from "pure" cultivars and towards squashes that I've selected for hardiness and flavor.  Same with corn.  I have a few stalks that are putting out 5-6 cobs.  That makes me happy.


Now, if I had just had the pellet rifle when that little raccoon went skittering down my fence this evening...

Yen Cross's picture

 It's a bit late in the season for squash. Plant those seedlings north facing. My pumpkin vines are going crazy.

   My pumpkins are gettibg fertilized every 7-10 days. I've got 2 on the 1st vine and more coming.

  I forgot to mention the gophers. I planted extra vines for safety. Did I mention the gophers? Nasty little buggars.

   Wall Street gophers

  I also planted asylum around my apricot trees. The Racoons hate asylum.

El Vaquero's picture

I have until Sept or Oct for growing things like squash.  But I also have squash bugs like fuck.  Learn your climate and learn you pests.  I figure that I'm going to have to be able to grow food without industrial inputs.  That means that fertilizer is local, whether I need it or not.

Mesquite's picture

Squash bugs = Diatomaceous earth...

shovelhead's picture


Use for inside the house pests too. Safe and cheap if you stay away from health food oz. sizes. Go to a local grain and feed store and ask for food grade.

Stick some in your pets as well. Kills worms and parasites. Works with people too.

My house was empty for a couple of years before I renovated it and an ant farm settled in the property. After a rain, it was like a horror movie. ANTS EVERYWHERE. Blasted inside and outside the house with DE and no more ants. Moisture ruins the effectivness of DE, so I'd blast around the foundation every two weeks.

Bug Kryptonite.

Bangin7GramRocks's picture

Much respect. It's all about quality of life.

Freddie's picture

If a man was well prepapred it might be interesting.   I am not sure if humping .308 in Manhattan would be any party so stick to .223 with tracers and armor piercing mixed in.

It would be sort of like a Bug Hunt.


christiangustafson's picture

Pvt. Vasquez has got the sector north of 96th Street.  You have been warned.

Duffy Duck's picture

He can have it.  How many pawn shops, check cashing places, and shitty fried chicken places does a fella need?



CrazyCooter's picture

Now that you have stepped up, care to impress us with a dissertation on how the inability to maintain supply lines have wrecked dominant empires in the past?



Freddie's picture

I think escaping from NYC might be easier than escaping NJ.

El Vaquero's picture

Fuck either of those places.  I'm going to have enough problems where I am, and there are only 2 million in my entire state, which is around twice as big as both of NY and NJ put together.  But, I have access to water where I am, so here I'll stay.

doctor10's picture

An index of tyranny is all that his represents. Worldwide government out of control.  There's room for banks that DON'T accept any electrons.  Just cash/bullion

rsnoble's picture

In her ass.  The one below the waist.

ajax's picture



In case you missed it: One Hyde Park, London

A Tale of Two Londons

"Who really lives at One Hyde Park, called the world’s most expensive residential building? Its mostly absentee owners, hiding behind offshore corporations based in tax havens,  provide a portrait of the new global super-wealthy. "


christiangustafson's picture

A supertower is coming to West 57th Street, in the Manhattan.

Your thoughts, hedgies?

I was thinking that we could pass the hat around ZH and put Tyler up in some decent digs.

I Write Code's picture

Don't be dropping a flowerpot off your balcony.

WOAR's picture

Wasn't Ben-Hur sent to the galleys for a falling roof shingle?

SF beatnik's picture

Amazing (and troubling) to see how much new construction is going on in these late days of the oil era.


Here in S.F., too. Big expansion of convention center recently announced. 


I guess some people are going to have to starve to make possible the high life in that "supertower" on 57th. 

sethstorm's picture

Require a non-nominal residency within the property by a flesh-bound entity for >90% of the year.

Yen Cross's picture

     I just wanted to say " sleep well bitchez" before 300 idiots placed their trades...

Freedumb's picture

So much of what made NYC a unique place was the availability of giant, cheap spaces, so if you wanted to try a new business idea out or set up a studio, it was not necessarily a life changing decision. I was just in Berlin a few weeks ago and, having grown up in NY, it reminded me of what New York was, when Williamsburg was shabby old buildings on a toxic waste site and Park Slope was affordable. The availability of cheap space was the foundation of a real retail economy -- trying to set up a business wasn't as wrought with horrific risk when rent was not obscene. In Berlin you can see people actually trying to be entrepreneurs still even among the poor. Here the only "entrepreneurism" is whether daddy has enough friends to capitalize your private equity fund these days.

Now all we get are more bank branches, frozen yogurt chains, subway, starbucks -- may as well fucking move to Ohio.

Duffy Duck's picture

Well, if it makes you feel better, most of the toxic waste is still there. 

BorisTheBlade's picture

Toxic waste of over-financialized economy is something new, it inflates prices, distorts, starves and kills rest of the economy producing nothing of tangible value.

SF beatnik's picture

Live like a king in Ashtabula. Lake is beautiful. Nearby Cleveland is well endowed with high culture. And climate is no worse than NYC's. 

Duffy Duck's picture

Meanwhile, in the suburbs, lots of former homeowners are now renting from relatively new corporate subsidiaries, multi-millionaire investors, and the extended families of H-1B visa holders...

On the upside, what they're paying more in food and transpo costs they are partially making back in saving on property taxes.


Live free or die, indeed.

Dollarmedes's picture

When you own 15 apartments around the world, you gotta budget your time.

augustusgloop's picture

It's called a pied a terre. 

I Write Code's picture

What can you say except, "God bless America and God bless the godless Chinese!"

If we can repatriate a trillion dollars into sky-high apartments, it looks to me like divine intervention, talk about your shovel-ready projects!

So isn't it time yet for the mile-high buildings, stop with this 1,500 foot nonsense, and let that shrimpy kilometer tower in Jiddah be used to grow mushrooms or something.

Yeah, and mount quad vulcans and a couple of laser cannon on the top floor, just in case.

SF beatnik's picture

Yeah, what's the fuss. Foreigners buy these overpriced apts by handing money to Americans. Eventually, they'll sell at a loss to Americans.  Bring it on. 

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Just asking to be the focus of some Asshat terrorist.


pitz's picture

Just remember, in Weimar Germany, entire appartment blocks could be purchased with a mere ounce or two of gold.  1000 ounces of silver even in 1979 bought an average house. 

alexcojones's picture

One day - maybe soon -New Yorkers may get to experience

Escape From New York, as their very own Snake Plissken.

THEN they might recall their anti-gun laws.

Too Late, bitchezzz.

Snake Plissken
Dre4dwolf's picture

I have worked on a lot of these buildings doing general construction, they are pretty much all vacant.


I have joked with friends that New York city is like "disney land" all the buildings are pretty much fake/empty/for show... above the 5th floor almost everything is empty.

If you go say to the 7~9th + floor on any random building you pick-out in the city (especially near the river) you will discover they are pretty much empty, and in quite bad condition.... most of the buildings in NY are in heavy dis-repair because no one occupies the top floors so no one really cares if the roofs are leaking/doors are falling off the hinges. .  . etc .  . . sometimes they use the empty space for storage . . . or as a smoking section of the building essentially.



Its a lot like north Korean ghost cities, but not as bad because the bottom half of buildings are somewhat  . . .  used to actually do something beyond paying people to stare at blank computer screens.


90% of New York cities population probably consists of yellow taxi cab drivers.

They make it almost unbearable to drive there.

Would be soo much better if they banned Taxis and just allowed more efficient car service companies to manage logistics. . . . you know sending cars where they actually need to be instead of just flooding the streets with cabs and congestion on a permanent level. . . and it would be cheaper also  . . . to drive from the airport to my house in a cab it freaking costs 60$ and its only like 15 minutes away. . . a car service to go there was like 20$..... and the car doesn't smell like ass.


potato's picture

Meh. Anyone dumb enough to live in NY gets what they deserve, especially since the marquee jobs are in finance and add zero value to planet Earth.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Elysium may be the next step for the 0.01%....why even stay on the planet with the serfs?   seems to be their attitude

old naughty's picture

eh, um,

heard that Federation of Galaxy is giving earth:

Alien Ultimatum

yellowsub's picture

Can they selectively target and not make us collateral damage?

Fuku Ben's picture

As an entrepreneur I offered to sublet mine to DHS so they can house contagious infected illegal immigrants. The doorman complained to the co-op board and his house was SWATTED by various sub-agencies. They apparently killed his dog. A chihuahua, I believe. CPS took his kids. His wife now wants a divorce. They planted, I mean uncovered, enough incriminating other evidence where he has been denied bail and will be deported after serving a life sentence.

The board will be interviewing the following candidates for his replacement next week

Sum Ting Wong
Wi Tu Lo
Ho Lee Fuk
& Bang Ding Ow

Yen Cross's picture

 The ghost of Nork Dictaters?  Kim Dik Sum< Suk sum Dik