Empire/Penn/Vornado is just a blip of the Real Estate Industry’s Theft

(COMMON SPEAK) David Achelis, August 21,2022

Congresswoman Maloney was very impressive, and my wife and I are voting for her this Tuesday.

 Nadler and Patel are not bad candidates, but we seriously need Carolyn representing us.

 Aside from the pathetic Empire/Penn project, nobody has mentioned that this is just a blip on the landscape of the Real Estate Industry in our city; how almost every city problem can be traced back to Real Estate.

 We need to not only stop the obscene land give-away of this particular project, we need to completely stop the Real Estate Industry from controlling our city.

 I live on Broadway and 56th, and for the previous 45 some years, I lived on 56th between 5th and 6th.

 From the roof of my new residence, 37 floors on the Northwest corner Broadway and 56th, I can see all the empty buildings on the obscenely named “Billionaire’s Row”. The developers of “Billionaires Row” knew that the only people who could actually afford these ridiculous apartments, were Russian Oligarchs, or Chinese Gangsters, and that they were using these apartments to launder their dirty money. These developers not only were well aware, but helped their clients hide behind layers of imaginary corporations and LLCs, so that the city can’t track or trace where this dirty money came from. We all know this. It was reported in the New York Times and New York Magazine for all to see. 

 When my wife and I go to our roof for a sunset cocktail, we marvel at the fact that we can only see five or six apartments actually occupied in Nordstrom, and even fewer in Stern’s 

building. We, the real citizens of NY are subsidizing these failed projects with our tax dollars.

 The City’s rules and regulations for developers NYC have not been changed since 1966!

 This garbage architecture I see every day on 57th is a world wide embarrassment. It’s as if Hugh Ferris never existed. The Art Student’s League sold it’s air space to Nordstrom, in order to survive, and now, 1/4 of the Nordstrom building is actually cantilevered over the Art Student’s League airspace!

 I am hoping Carolyn wins this election…I was backing Layla in her assembly run for all these same reasons, but, whatever happens, we have to realize that Empire State is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much money in this dirty Real Estate business. They have been able to buy otherwise decent people who are supposed to represent us, and the whole city suffers…

David Achelis


West 50s Neighborhood Association

211 West 56th Street #22E

New York, NY 10019