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Rich European Soccer Stars to Make Midtown Less Gross

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Much like the Cassa on 45th Street, the Setai Fifth Avenue is another towering new Midtown condo/hotel with a reputation of being aimed squarely at foreign buyers. Today the Wall Street Journal checks in on the building (the hotel opens Nov. 1), and finds that's precisely the case. Italy's Bizzi & Partners Development has found buyers for half the 184 units, most of them all-cash deals to international buyers, a roster that includes soccer stars Kaká and Patrick Vieira because international athletes love this NYC condo-hotel stuff.

Why aren't local buyers interested? Because few people in their right, English-speaking mind would pay $2,300 per square foot to live in the tourist whirlwind surrounding the Empire State Building, which the 60-story Setai finds itself in. For now, anyway! The developers have a plan to change the Setai's surroundings.
And that plan is to alter the neighborhood's character through the Setai's sheer opulence:

Landmark buildings such as the former home of jeweler Tiffany & Co., designed by McKim, Mead & White, are in the area, as is the Empire State Building. But the neighborhood is often associated with tourist groups and crowded pubs at happy hour. "The prices are out of line with the neighborhood," says Jacky Teplitzky, a broker with Prudential Douglas Elliman. "People spending that amount of money want to be next to high-end shopping and good restaurants."

Executives at Bizzi predict the Setai will change the neighborhood's character. "It's a location that should improve," says Chairman Davide Bizzi. "We are helping with that."

So by this time next year, Pizzacone will be Chez Pizzacone? If so, we only have one thing to say: GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!
· New Luxury Tower Tries to Lift Neighborhood [WSJ]
· Setai Fifth Avenue coverage [Curbed]