Folks, when the world ends, at least we'll have our memories of the W New York Downtown Hotel & Residences to keep us warm. The mouthful of a condo/hotel under construction just behind the Deutsche Bank Building near ground zero is somewhat a relic of frothier times?when buildings resembled space brothels (above) and 23-year-old developers saved entire floors for use as their "ultimate bachelor pad." Ah, 2008, how we'll miss you. Luckily for SHVO, the brokerage selling the 200+ sexpods in the 58-story Financial District tower, our friends in the Middle East haven't yet caught on that gaudy is on the outs in our troubled capitalism headquarters. Last week, New York magazine ran an epic feature on Americans in Dubai chasing that big pot of gold in the sand, and in it, a scene from the massive real estate conference Cityscape leaps out:
The W girls seem weary. They've traveled a long way—from the New York headquarters of the tony real-estate-marketing firm SHVO—to be here, at Cityscape, where their working environment is almost neurologically assaultive. Their home for the duration of the conference is a dimly lit two-tiered red-and-black box with hipster lounge music piped in through hidden speakers and four touch-screens perpetually commending the amenities that accompany an ownership stake in the W New York Downtown Hotel & Residences, currently going up down the street from ground zero. Jaclyn Savar, diminutive and blonde, stands by the bar clutching a paper cup of coffee as if it were a cane. “I’ve barely slept at all,” she says. She moved here four days ago, to work at SHVO’s new offices on Sheikh Zayed Road, and she’s still suffering from jet lag. Sales, at least, are brisk. Upstairs in the “closing room,” beyond a velvet rope, a young Arab man sits on a plush couch deciding which two floors of the W he would like to purchase.And say what you will about the W, but at least we know this much is true: the parties are going to be absolutely bitching.
· Escape to Dubai [NYM]