Urban Fold

Big Egos and Fat Wallets Drive New York Skyscraper Boom

The Empire State Building's place in New York City's skyline is set to be challenged by several new residential towers, as the city experiences a height hysteria not seen since the heady days of the late 1920s.

"Not since builders stuck a dirigible mooring mast to the top of the Empire State Building, eclipsing the Chrysler Building as the world’s tallest tower, have developers been engaged in the type of skyscraper war that New York City is now witnessing," observes Julie Satow. "But unlike the rivalries of the early 20th century, when buildings pierced the clouds to house corporate headquarters, this one involves no fewer than three alpine condominiums with penthouses on the 90th floor and higher, which are being built to woo big-spending American hedge funders, Chinese magnates and Russian oligarchs."

"Constructing the world’s tallest towers is not for the faint of heart," she adds, "and for modern-day building barons it might be the ultimate statement of ego."

"It is not surprising that in a city known for its outsized personalities, many of these projects involve New York’s most conspicuous developers."

Full Story: Looking Down on the Empire State

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