lunes, 7 de abril de 2014

Making Buildings for Billionaires in New York City

Ultra-luxurious New York high rises are attracting billionaires from nearby as well as abroad.

Watch this New York Times short video and answer the questions about it. The activity is suitable for Intermediate students.

1 What's the name of the building?
2 How many storeys does it have?
3 What's the difference between this building and other luxurious buildings in New York?
4 How much does a penthouse cost?
5 How many flats have been sold in this building?
6 Who are the buyers for 56 Leonard in Tribeca?
7 What happens whenever the best and most luxurious building is finished?

You can check your answers by reading the transcript below.

Oh, wow.
That’s what we want, we want the oh wow.
We want the oh wow, right? I mean that must be everybody’s reaction as soon as they get up here.
It is, it is. Yeah.
This is Julie Creswell for The New York Times. One57 looming 90 stories over mid-town Manhattan is the latest hyper-luxury high-rise looking to attract big bids from the global super elite.
We are in kind of dead centre of Central Park, we have a spectacular view. So I think basically this building has everything, you know, views, location, super high quality, hotel services. Lots of other buildings I think have parts of this, but we’ve got it all.
Having it all comes at a cost. One bedrooms will start at three million dollars. A penthouse is listed for 100m.
But you know, there are a lot of billionaires all over the world, including in the United States of America. It turns out there’s a pretty deep market for people that can afford residences like this.
Even as prices are some the city’s hottest developments stretch into the stratosphere, luxury apartments in Manhattan don’t top the charts when it comes to price per square foot. Last year an apartment in Monaco’s Tour Odeon sold for $8,850 per square foot. Another in Frank Gehry’s sleek Hong Kong Opus went for nearly 8,800 per square foot. In West London, the average price for the 86 apartments in One Hyde Park has been more than $9,500 per square foot, with over 70% sold One57’s average price is $6,000 and roughly half are foreign buyers.
Billionaires want big views, too. In this rendering, Harry Macklowe’s 432 Park Avenue will be the highest residential building in the western hemisphere at nearly 1,400 feet, dominating New York’s already impressive skyline. So far it’s averaging nearly $7,000 square foot.
This whole area from here from on in…
But height isn’t enough. You also need high-end amenities.
…you have a huge bathroom like those from there to here. This is a central grand tub which is made of one piece of marble coming Italy.
In Tribeca, a mostly low-rise high price section of Lower Manhattan 56 Leonard Street is slowly rising to 60 storeys.
Basically when you look at other, you know, New York buildings in town, they are kind of monotonic and we just don’t want to do another straight-out high-rise it’s sculpted, it has jagged edges.
So who are the buyers for 56 Leonard?
You know, much to our surprise the buyers are downtown people, Tribeca people. I think international buyers were much more in love with the Midtown buildings, you know. … like over 92% sold. The highest price, which was a record in downtown, was below 56 Street was a 47m penthouse.
But no matter what you build, once it’s done, there’s always another developer around the corner.
What’s the encore for a building like this?
We have another interesting building coming.
Not ready to tell any secrets yet?
Not yet.