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Opening Arguments

A five-year plan

Barack Obama just doesn't think outside the box -- now, this is a stimulus plan:

Last May the United Nations broke ground on a $300 million, 175,000-square-foot building on the North Lawn of its property on the East River, to house the Security Council, the U.N. conference organizations, the General Assembly and the organization's eclectic art collection. Yet that new structure, designed by HLW Architects LLP, is scheduled to disappear in as little as five years. It will be leveled and replaced with a lawn (and cherry trees that were uprooted) once the U.N.'s $1.9 billion in renovations to its mid-century buildings are finished in 2013. U.N. staffers will then return to the headquarters built for $35 million on donated land in 1950 and, until now, never overhauled.

So much of public spending is wasted, but it's seldom as blatant as this. Let's hear it for planned obsolescence.

Posted in: Current Affairs


Tue, 01/13/2009 - 7:45pm


Almost 16 million square feet is currently listed as available in large blocks in 68 office buildings in Manhattan, according to Colliers ABR, a commercial brokerage firm. That is nearly double the space available a year ago, both in terms of the number of large office blocks