From Seattle to Manhattan to Miami, cities are losing their souls to megatowers, residential buildings so freakishly tall that they vie with the Empire State building for height.
The people below become ants caught in newly created tunnels, deprived of light. These monstrosities create canyons trapping air pollution at street level. They cast huge shadows across the city and kill off local charm.
Their “residences,” usually priced in the multi-millions, are being sold to foreigners seeking a safe place to stash their money. They’re often transferred in all-cash deals using shell companies, the buyers’ identities not known.
It should surprise no one that a lot of this money is dirty. The U.S. Treasury Department has taken notice.
Do neighborhood people have any say at their city halls, so often beholden to the real estate industry?
The East River Fifties Alliance says yes. (This is a largely affluent community not used to getting pushed around.) The group has submitted a plan to re-zone the Sutton Place area to keep out megatowers, starting with the ludicrous proposal to place a 900-foot structure smack in the middle of narrow East 58th Street.
My column: Don’t bury our cities in megatowers
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