Maybe you were wondering how toll takers got into real estate . . . and why this makes any sense . . . and how no one can do anything about it . . . and then The Times’ Joe Nocera really poops in the punchbowl in the weeks leading up to the tenth anniversary of 9/11:
Posted: August 21st, 2011 | Filed under: Architecture & Infrastructure, Follow The Money, Grrr!, Things That Make You Go "Oy"
But despite the shroud of patriotism that its supporters have always cloaked it in, it’s really just a big, fancy office building. An office building with such poor economics that it will soak New Jersey and New York commuters for decades to come. An office building only the government could love.
Lately, supporters of the project have begun saying that its economics have improved. They point to the fact that Condé Nast, the publishing giant, has agreed to be the anchor tenant. What they fail to point out is that Condé Nast’s rent is less than half the break-even cost of the 1 million square feet it will occupy. In other words, a company that publishes high-end magazines aimed at rich people will be getting an enormous government subsidy for the foreseeable future.
And who will be paying for that subsidy? The mailroom attendants who use the Lincoln Tunnel to get to work. The middle-class New Jersey-ites who use the George Washington Bridge. The firefighters and police officers who live in Staten Island. Thus, in the name of 9/11, does New York and New Jersey place another economic burden on the already overburdened middle class. How sad.