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Why More $88 Million Apartments Will Help The Economy

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Slate's Matthew Yglesias has come up with a defense of pied-a-terres for the super-rich, the kind that cost upwards of $80 million and the sort these billionaires will never inhabit: They're good for New York's economy. Yes, even that one at 432 Park One57 (our bad) bought for a toddler, which seems just plain crazy... right?

[T]he right response isn't to freak out; it's to take advantage of the potential bonanza. America's greatest export product is America itself. Whether it's apartments in Manhattan or beachfront condos in Miami and San Diego, the rich people of the world want to buy dwellings on our shores. If we allow for more building permits and denser construction, there'll be a jobs boom exporting those homes just as Switzerland exports fancy watches or Gulfstream exports private jets. The houses will have to be filled with furniture and appliances and other manufactured goods, and when their owners come to visit, they'll also visit our stores and restaurants. And, yes, as Bloomberg said, they'll pay property taxes. They key to not eliminating any housing stock for middle or lower classes, he adds, is to keep the development in areas that already cater to the wealthy set, not to develop in gentrifying or fringe areas: "Take the existing stacks of apartments for rich people and replace them with taller stacks. Then watch the money roll in."
· We Need More $88 Million Apartments [Slate]
· 2013 Officially Unseats 2007 As Luxury Real Estate Boom Year [Curbed]
—Rendering by DBOX for CIM Group & Macklowe Properties