Coopersmith and Coopersmith

There was a lot of attention around Kenneth Griffin’s $238 Million apartment purchase at 220 Central Park South. By setting a record as the most expensive home purchase in the United States, the news brought a lot of issues to the forefront, one of the many being the “pied-à-terre” tax which has been introduced annually by State Senator Brad Hoylman since 2014. While the most recent New York State Budget included a plastic bag ban, congestion pricing and increased mansion and transfer taxes INSTEAD of the pied-à-terre tax, I can’t help but think that New York is taking a moment to determine its future.

The faction that successfully pushed back on Amazon’s HQ2 in Long Island City is juxtaposed against the pro-business interests that could not be made more evident with the opening of Hudson Yards this past month (perhaps you saw something about it on Instagram). With any large development, there are a lot of opinions, from being disconnected from the city (we’ve been there before) to being yet another place to shop. I went to Hudson Yards and as I saw the Vessel against the shine of new buildings and a new subway station all overlooking the High Line “spur”, I can’t help but think it’s an improvement over what was there before (trains).

My main criticism, aside from the lack of a subway station on 41st and 10th, is that it feels like a missed opportunity and a repeat of the World Trade Center redevelopment. Perhaps at the heart of New York’s identity “moment” is that leaders are not representing their purported constituencies. So with all the discord and debate, it is with hope that I look towards all of the energy around the future of the BQE replacement.

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