The City is Dying

New York City, Manhattan, is being totally destroyed as a livable city.

The building contractors are busy tearing down old and beautiful buildings in order to build more and more towers filled with empty spaces.

These oversized, tall buildings are basically architecturally faulted. The first one was built by Viñoly on Park Ave, 432 Park Avenue. He himself claimed that it was a failed building, and all the other tall buildings have followed suit. They sway in the wind, they creak, the pipes break, and the elevators don’t work in a timely fashion.

Unreasonable and unlikely to happen, the best thing that can be done to reclaim these buildings is to lop off the top 20-40 floors. The only people benefiting from these tall buildings are the contractors who make money off of more rentable/sellable property on smaller bases. Perhaps there should be an air tax, but it would be even better to totally ban buildings over a certain height altogether.

The streets are being darkened. The sky is being obliterated. The sun can barely penetrate the shaded corridors.

The stores are empty, restaurants are surviving, and yet, the rents continue to rise.

It’s hard to know where this massive destruction ends.

It is beyond comprehension that so many spaces are, at present, left vacant one building after another. And yet, the builders go on tearing down old buildings and replacing them with bland, unoccupied new ones. Somebody is making money off taxpayers!

During the Covid pandemic, many corporations and staffs moved to cheaper areas of the country as they realized they could work productively on Zoom. Offices seem to have become largely obsolete in the city. There seems to be no recognition of the fact that Manhattan does not need more office spaces, and yet there seems to be more and more of those as well. What Manhattan needs are more affordable living spaces so that the people who work in Manhattan can afford to live in Manhattan.

The rents must be forced down for commercial space for businesses like shops, restaurants and boutiques to bring the city back to life.

This has to happen immediately. Today. Not tomorrow, not the next day, not next year. Today. Otherwise New York City will die.

Rents are too high and should be forced down. Neither the city nor the federal government should afford tax rebates for retail owners who leave their spaces empty or unoccupied. If the rents came down, it might be possible for small businesses still to function as destinations and specialty stores. Another possibility is to take the spaces of the empty stores and turn them into some kind of sleeping facilities for the enormous number of migrants flooding the cities. The empty spaces in New York City, that probably will never again be occupied by office spaces, could be turned into midtown lofts – younger generations today prefer loft space to apartment space.

The other thing that the city has to do is to force every contractor who builds a new building to build parking spaces into their structures – several floors of parking space. The charge for these spaces should be the same for parking on the street, and the money should be collected by the city as it is for street parking. This is what is happening in cities like Paris.

It’s time that the real estate business in New York shares some responsibility for the problems that they’ve created in the city. Young people, artists, artisans, teachers, police officers, almost anybody who works in the city cannot afford to live here. This alone would be the sign of a dying city. Your workers, your young people, your talented people, your artists, can no longer afford to live in the city in which they work, nor can members of the police force who are supposed to protect the city – they too cannot live in the city, nor can they send their children to school in the city. The city has created an entire workforce with no skin in the game; no relationship to the city except to come in, spend their hours, and go home.

With the largest police force in the nation, it is impossible to find a police officer on any street in New York except those who direct traffic. No wonder Donald Trump could go out onto Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, and not be apprehended – there’s nobody to arrest him.