Why New York’s Billionaires’ Row Is Half Empty

čas přidán 14. 12. 2021
Manhattan’s skyscrapers aren’t really built for people anymore.
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Presenter - Fred Mills
Producer - Jaden Urbi
Camera Op and Video Editing - Aaron Wood
Motion Graphics - Vince North
Executive Producers - Fred Mills and James Durkin
Associate Producers - Liam Marsh, Adam Savage and Tim Gibson
US Travel and Logistics - Caroline Mills

Special thanks to Ryan Serhant, Matthew Soules, Samuel Stein and The Dronalist.

Additional footage from SERHANT., louisatalksbuildings, cody.boone, matalynnthayer, thevictoriashtainerteam, nilelundgren, nyconstructionphoto, Hey, it’s Kimberlee!, Periscope Film, Andrew M Cuomo, ABC News, CNBC, Municipal Art Society of New York, Streeteasy, Bloomberg, Euronews, Disney and OpenStreetMap contributors.

For more from The Dronalist visit - bit.ly/3dCW0iM
Ryan Serhant’s channel - bit.ly/3pPYClA
Kimberlee’s channel - bit.ly/33qCTZW
Matthew Soules’ book - bit.ly/3IKEBpi
Samuel Stein’s book - bit.ly/3m0UuOn

Additional research:
SERHANT. - bit.ly/3GEu64V
New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey - bit.ly/3EVCzjG
NYC IBO Report on One57’s 421-a exemption - bit.ly/3ykIH2t
The Accidental Skyline report - bit.ly/31Lczt7

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  • Wow! Wow! Wow! Just wow! They did it guys. They kept their promise. The half an hour video from the best channel for construction in the world just gave us the best treat of the year. I love you B1M. Your videos are spectacular. I can write almost an entire book about how much y’all have helped me in learning about construction projects around the world right here from the comfort of my home 📱 🛋 . You guys are the absolute best of the best . I’m sooooo grateful for rocking with y’all for over a year now I believe. Keep up the spectacular work mate 👏🏾🤍 🚧 And Sending loads of love right here from The Bronx NewYork City 😊

    • You're A Russian MAGA!

    • @Geoffrey Faltot Yup very sincere 😊😊

    • So that means you like it then?

    • Anybody else read this and wait for a punch line but was pleasantly surprised this young gentleman was sincere? lol

  • The retail stores are empty the offices are empty, and billionaire's row is empty. Welcome to NYC!

    • They should force the most wealthy people to have to live in them or turn them into subsidized housing etc.

    • And there are so many Homeless people's too

    • ​@charles Piranha but that's the problem with our society. We need to continue to increase the population to maintain the status quo. People stop having kids and ultimately our society collapses upon itself.

    • I love capitalism it's so efficient and not wasteful at all

  • The engineering that goes into these buildings is always fascinating, but the economic/societal side of things is definitely troubling.

    • @Suz Pro I’m sure they could give a rats azz what you think.

    • @Drew H Engineering problems? Interesting, like what?

    • Actually, this building have a lots of engineering problems!

  • This was incredibly depressing, but I'm glad you did it. It's horrifying how much we've sacrificed to make rich people even richer. The idea of paying 200 million dollars for an apartment you'll never use while people are literally dying in the streets because they can't afford shelter is insane. Edit: my post keeps getting a lot of comments blindly defending capitalism. If you don't understand why this practice is problematic you are quite literally part of the problem.

    • I think the problem is with the homelessness issue and not the 200 million dollar penthouse

    • @twisted cycle pathmfs quick to find excuses

    • @asha beeu can still get rich bro u just excuses

    • @Superstar Banana Mixshii can’t say the same abt me I want the bag

  • I remember walking along the edge of Central park a few years ago, people sleeping on the benches in the shadows of these $100m empty apartments. The stark contrast in humanty.

    • Not humanity but capitalism

    • just NY, all other places are fine

    • Just Leave The City, It's A Rich City Only For Rich People

    • A new chapter You need to travel the world to see how good you have it. First world problems lmao. I struggled to get clean water in my home country.

    • A new chapter No it’s not lmao you are so sheltered

  • Plus, those empty apartments are cooled all throughout the summer because constant change in temperature damages furniture and art, so when the city asks residents to decrease their power usage to avoid blackouts I'm guessing it's mostly the poor who do it.

    • @Yes that’s insane to have so much disposable income. I’m just a regular person. 😥

    • @Yes That sounds like something Kanye West would do....

    • @Kevin Ortiz LMAO! Very good point.

    • of course its the poor who do all the sacrificing

    • ​@Busyboy 42 I'll never forget when I visited a family friend (not gonna say who but many people would recognize the name) and dude had heating on blast and AC all year in 3 houses no one had stepped foot in (save for cleaners) for about 5 to 6 years. Now that's fuck you money if I say so myself.

  • This is INCREDIBLE content. I am an architecture student finishing my Masters and you guys really answered every possible doubt and situation around these buildings from all points of view... Amazing job!

  • The one thing that amazed me the most when I moved to the US 10 years ago, was lobbying. I believe it's called bribery in the rest of the world.

    • @Meener Man For The Lazy People ?? Yeah It Is

    • Precisely.

    • @melodramatic7904 Basically, and this is global, laws and principles don't apply to the rich.

    • @Patrick bribery has Nothing to do with capitalism….if a person who doesnt own a business and has the right amount of money, can get what they want.

  • Same miscalculation happened in London a decade ago. Number 1 Knightsbridge was a mega project by the Candy brothers, looking to give billionaires the ultimate property to congregate in. What they didn't realize is the one thing billionaires value more than anything is exclusivity. Living in a block of flats with a bunch of other billionaires is the last thing they want; it makes it feel common. On any given evening half the towers are pitch black. Pretty incredible no-one thought of that.

    • @Black League and what do you live in?

    • this is a bit different…

  • It's astounding to me that properties are treated only as assets, left empty on purpose to keep their value liquid.. and ontop of that are allowed to circumvent building codes, and the rules normal people are subject to, simply because they have the excess money to throw around. Meaning the Government is tolerating things that are not normally legal, simply by adding an extra price tag to things. Which seems nice until you realize it just makes these investments more exclusive - and therefore more valued, which just keeps rich people filthy rich and regular people left to play by different rules, in squalor.

    • @yungeen_boiツ What percentage of the people on billionaires row have real jobs?

    • @FreakStyleru can always work bro. Stop waiting for shit to be handed to u

    • Stop Being So Victimist

    • It is incredible how much people are willing to turn a blind eye to for an extra zero or 2 on that cheque.

    • @Veronica Haney got a billion you can share to get in the game?

  • Have to say your videos are just incredible...they touch on all the right notes and cover all the pertinate issues involved in an intelligent and sophisticated way, you have a true love for architecture I know nothing about it but you have me engaged every time with these videos, well done to you and I'm sure u have a wider team supporting you good work all...👍🏿

  • The city could charge landlords/owners a tax of 30% of the listing price whenever the unit is unoccupied and that would strongly motivate real estate predators to keep buildings occupied.

    • Ha! You forget the #goldenrule the one with the gold makes the rule. Like he said, the developers squashed the taxation.

    • @jane mcginn Just leave a tap trickling. Boom. People do work arounds. Have to be annual legal declaration.

    • I can think of a couple of issues with it. First, there's always some frictional unoccupation, between tenants, and you don't want to be caught with an empty building. The second is *because* you don't want to be caught with an empty building, they might just build less, which could cause significant homelessness issues. I think a better idea is to just use the affordable housing incentivization structure and crank up the required affordable development, close tax holes when they pop up, and then maybe relax the zoning codes to get some more mixed developments in place

  • This was a great video. I've never been to New York, and I didn't realize there were so many empty housing units in the luxury space. For those that understand how money works (usually the wealthy since unfortunately it's not taught in schools), but inflation chips away at the value of the dollars you have in cash in the bank. Therefore, to preserve wealth against inflation, you're going to want to hold that value in something besides cash (you always need a decent amount of liquid cash for things that come up -- the recommendation is usually 3-6 months worth of expenses), but everything beyond that should be put into something that at the very least grows with inflation. For the ultra wealthy that have so much money coming in they don't know what to do with, real estate is a common place to store cash because it is typically pretty stable in its price (real estate prices typically do not drastically move up and down -- not always the case looking at the last couple years and 2008 -- though these have been rare events in the overall world of real estate) and will typically at least keep up with inflation. Essentially, these condos are really a physical bank account for these billionaires which pays back more than keeping the actual cash in a bank. Developing more affordable housing may give a similar ROI, and if it's close enough to just owning a luxury apartment, the city could help make up some of the difference (instead of giving the tax incentives it currently does). There are plenty of developers out there who are interested in building more affordable housing (or just work in that market in general) who like to find investors to be able to make it happen). Maybe there could be something along those lines where the billionaires get connected with the developers building more affordable housing and encourage properties to be built that actually results in more people getting into homes. I haven't researched it enough to know if that is a viable solution, but I think it would be worth looking into. There are lot more details on how economics and money works that are hard to put into a CS-tv comment, and while I'm very much a believer in capitalism and in saving and investing, I do think it would be great for the city to come up with a solution that can benefit more people (and capitalism in it's purest form is built to reward more wealth to the person who benefits more people with the greatest amount of value).

    • very informative; thanks!

    • @orecchio monster As I mentioned in my comment, I would have to research the market in New York to determine what kind of ROI could be reasonably expected for development in that area. Ultimately, you need to determine how much housing would go for. In short, when planning a project, a developer is going to look at how much they can pay for empty land in the area or how much they can pay for an old building they can repurpose into something like condos. Then they look at what they need to build and determine the costs that the project will be. The big thing with planning the project (and looking for a place to build) is what the city ordinances allow. Zoning laws will describe what kind of land use of allowed for a certain area. It's not uncommon for zoning laws to require certain looks for buildings in a given area, which often will increase the cost of a project and/or reduce the total number of housing units you can build, which directly affects the market. Then they look at how much they can sell each housing unit for. If the cost of land and the interest for carrying any loans for the project is less than what you can sell each unit for, then you've made a profit. Otherwise you've either broke even or took a loss. I don't know the New York market, but I know it's highly dense and therefore has a lot of demand and little supply. I also believe they likely have a lot of regulations that are specific to what a developer can build (mostly just guessing since typically larger cities have a lot more regulations on what gets built and how). So the cost of development is going to be pretty high. Without doing the research, I can't say what the ROI is for new developments in new York City. It may be that doing any new residential developments would result in a loss. My comment was about the fact that typically, investing in real estate is about buying it for a solid return which typically involves adding some kind of value to it. It can be a great place to store money if you have a lot of it and can pay cash. The prices are typically stable, and it often grows with inflation. However, if you want to protect your investment, you need to have insurance, and you don't ever get out of paying property taxes. So it still requires money to maintain. Three reality is that you would get a better return putting your money into an index fund rather than just sitting on real estate that doesn't produce any income. Especially if any of these billionaires are carrying a mortgage on it. I'm short, without more research, I can't make any claims about whether in this specific case putting money into real estate development for more housing still have a better ROI than just buying a billionaire condo that does nothing. City zoning can have a huge effect on this. But in general, finding a development project will give a higher return than just sitting on real estate that you haven't added any value to and that doesn't produce any income. I hope that makes sense and I didn't just ramble.

    • Explain how would developing affordable housing give a similar ROI as a billionaire condo?

    • Thank you for this info!

  • I like how this channel has gone from discussing and praising the architecture of billionaire's row to pointing out how fucking terrible it is for literally everyone. Character development.

    • Both can be done simultaneously.

    • God this comment is insufferably smug

    • @None Last Because people have better things to do than to worry about changing the current order of things

    • @None Last Sure, disprove the fact that the us military has given funds to most modern tech.

    • ​@Annonymously why except that? why not try to make a more just and FAIR society? Life is unfair because we accept that it's unfair, why don't we spit in the natural order of things like we've done a million times in human history?

  • Wow, this was meticulously researched, detail oriented and even quoted sources. Excellent video from B1M! I have learned more from this video than probably the last 10 I've watched and it was formatted in a way that for some odd reason allowed me to retain nearly everything that was said. Remarkable, because I struggle with retaining information, how am I able to remember all of this then? It must be in his delivery, his technique or format, I'm not sure but that in itself is very interesting 🤔

    • Fred is an excellent presenter, and he's HOT!

    • Oh, I totally agree, this channel is an absolute gold nugget of information and it's truly amazing how he delivers it and the amount of details provided alongside it.

    • Memory is tied to emotion. You may have strong feelings about this video and can remember more of it due to that

  • I've been an engineering surveyor since the late 80s and you can constantly see phases of change that reflect zoning. Zoning and the mindset of the people in control of allowed construction shapes the world and so few people understand their impact. Walk through Sydney and you'll see types of construction and you'll hear industry people say "that has to be a 1970s build as there's no way they'd allow that now".

  • It's scary to hear Melbourne mentioned. It's a wonderful place to live but we are rapidly heading towards the same housing inequality that will drain its beauty and accessiblity

    • just make sure some black people are able to live in Melborne, I heard that was a very racist town, not worth investing in.

  • i'm really pleasantly surprised by the presentation of this and research behind it. i love 'indie content' in the classic YT sense, but well-produced capital critical content on this level is really incredible. instant sub.

  • First time I've seen one of your videos, pretty impressive. Condo towers are somewhat similar here in Los Angeles, but more are company owned and used by top staff who travel here to work in their regional offices for a while. The real eye-opener are a lot of the skyscraper office buildings are practically empty. A lot of the corporations that lease them still pay the rent, and have reception staff, but the office and cubicle areas are practically vacant (maybe 5% of employees on site). I did find one exception, and that was a Japanese company whose employees work at night so they can communicate in real time with HQ in Japan, and they can avoid the heavy daytime L.A. traffic.

  • The scary thing is this move to own housing as an investment isn't just restricted to these ultra-wealthy properties like Billionaire's Row. More and more 'normal' homes are being scooped up as an investment at the detriment of people who'd actually like to live there.

    • you can own a home and control your prices then

    • @James Garrard nope! First and foremost we need laws restricting the sale of single family homes to investors and reserve those for people who are actually going to live there.

    • @Steve Johnson - No. Just no to all of that. Whatever statistics you are reading 📚 come from an unreliable source or you have misconstrued the meaning.

    • @JDLove - It's great you are proud of your mother. The rest of your post is nonsense without any basis in fact. Laziness is not the reason for poor people or the working poor.

    • @Level Up Don't blame a single investor, blame all of them, because their existence in itself is directly harmful to society and the economy.

  • The greed of some people in this world is disgusting 🤮 GREAT video thank you for so much information!

  • Wow i love seeing how the rich throw their money around. Ive never had more than three thousand dollars at one given time but glad their playing shuffleboard with enough money for my entire family to live off of for the rest of my life. Pretty epic dude, the amount i worry about my health and whether or not i can afford anything, and they wanna see how pretty the money burns.

    • @dekippiesip I'm talking specifically about labor laws, but also things like regulations for housing and transportation markets, environmental laws, things like that. Places where lobbyists have the most influence.

    • @Anonymous Poster I don't know who you refer to as 'them'. The government, corporations, rich individuals? Anyway we are entitled to expect that our tax money is well spent, since we pay for that. And we should also have something to say about, say, a bank that is held afloat by tax money. Of course it goes both ways.

    • @dekippiesip I'd agree with you that you shouldn't expect people to fix things in your life, more out of practicality than morality. But, like, we've got to stop letting these greedy influentials in the lobby game leech money out of us. We're not asking them to fix our problems, we're asking them not to cause them in the first place. That difference might seem negligible but it's really not, especially not socially.

    • @Borna Asi it actually made perfect sense. His question was rather empathetic. A lot of people lack that these days lol

  • This is an incredible informative piece. As someone who sits on the co op board of a Riverdale building and watches our taxes increase I now want to look deeply into the tax cuts these buildings receive.

  • They said the billionaires get so many tax breaks that everyone else has to pick up the slack. Poor people are literally suffering so that billionaires can stay rich. How much more messed up can it get??? All the policymakers that had a hand in this, deserve whatever bad things befall them.

    • @Lucas Cury They always say "turn from the devil, and he will flee from you", yet the devil, and lucifer are not the same person. And lucifer, is the most beautiful angel from Heaven itself. Every layer, as marked by Enoch so conveniently for you by Enoch. Never forget Demontime. 😈

    • @Black League 🥾👅

    • @Sherlyn A. Only certain portions of tax are even eligible for returns, and those are the parts that come out first. It's not "especially if they have children", it's ONLY if they have children. I made $3900 one year and they still kept 30% after my return was filed. You really shouldn't speak on things you don't know about.

    • @Dont Misunderstand poor people in the US literally get their money back, especially if they have children...

    • @Dont Misunderstand um... When youre smart enough to be rich, you dont play around with the same laws that a common person does. half of the people who live in Billionaires row are not even American. When you make 40 or 50 million dollars a year, you usually associate with other people who make similar money, and know the tax games you can play with in order to maintain that level of money. Why do you think so many politicians own entire churches? They know how to write off the money as tax brakes. Once you make your first 2 million dollars, new windows of intelligence open up to you.

  • Built in the 1930's, the Empire State Building was exhorbitantly expensive at the time and was almost totally empty during the years of the Great Depression. Eventually, the luster of renting there was worn down, the rents went down and businesses opened up. The same will happen to these buildings. When the owners get scared, they will convert the aparments to offices, just so they don't lose their shirts. NY is in a huge real estate bubble in the middle of a massive worldwide recession. The bubble will burst.

  • I live in Melbourne and definitely have felt this, in my building there are easily 200-300 apartments, but given the amount of neighbours I've encountered and mailboxes I've seen empty, I think no more than 100 are occupied. At one point for almost a month my roommates and I realised we were the only occupied apartment in our entire level

    • @Dot Euphoria I am homeless

    • @Adriana Campos Sad? People with comments like yours really don't care about the homeless, only your comfort, huh?

    • @Wom Bat Rent control and wealth cap are positive aspects of communism, just like nepotism and greed are negative aspects of capitalism. Adopting a few of the good practices of communism would do wealthy countries well. Less homelessness.

    • Are you sure many of those apartments weren't owned by overseas investors? Many SE Asian companies/families buy off-the-plan apartments for their kids to live in when they study in Australia. Not many students coming in ATM.

    • Isn't that normal though? Like finding an all full apartment building is sad

  • Great video! This video helped explain a lot to those of us like myself who are not so well educated. I'm not ashamed to say that either. Beautifully photographed - researched and presented! Subbed for sure!

  • Great video. Thanks. I wouldn't class these towers as "architecture". They're structures composed of various forces coming together. Architecture is enriching and elegant or at least honest. These have none of such qualities. A big reckoning is on the way for sure.

  • Really descriptive video on the problems, we are facing right now, housing. In my opinion, it was a bad idea to make housing like a commodity. It allowed many people to take advantage of this system and leave most people to either rent or be homeless.

  • Have to say this is an incredibly well produced/presented doc. I have no searing interest in construction, but it was a damn good watch.

  • Honestly, you'd think that having empty investment housing just lying there when there is a massive homeless population in the same city wouldn't/shouldn't be allowed. It's sort of evil.

  • The overfocus on the hyper-wealthy seems to be a serious problem for the construction industry. Demand for regular homes is higher than ever and yet developers still aren't building enough of them.

    • Zoning laws and regulation are a huge reason for this. Why would developer’s build low cost housing when they can make exponentially more on Luxury housing because the zoning laws and regulations are fixed costs that cut into profit. So if I have a piece of property that I have $50 million in regulatory and zoning costs baked in (thanks to government bureaucracy) and I can either build 200 low cost units that will net me $150 million or 80 luxury units that will net me $800 million. Which one am I going to take?

    • @JMS Uh, no. I live in Idaho, and hard working locals can no longer afford decent houses. Where is your data from? You must be living comfortably to be so unaware of those who aren't.

    • @JMS people don't live in those places for a reason. 61% of consumers live paycheck to paycheck. The majority of the US population lives in coastal urban areas, because they are wealthier, have more services/resources/jobs available, and have more opportunities despite lower income. If you live in oklahoma, yeah you'll only need like 150k to buy a home compared to 750k in new york, but if you're behind on rent and the cost of everything is going up, how the hell are you going to save up enough money to move all the way to oklahoma and buy a home there? The american working class is trapped in a paradox where they cannot survive the cost of living, but the cost of living keeps them from escaping.

  • Whilst I am in awe of the engineering know-how that goes into these new buildings, I am a slave to the architechture of the buildings from the 1920's..i feel that these new kids on the block just dont have the same beauty to them at the Art Deco Scene had....but regardless of looks and character (or lack thereof) it is sad to see so many of these spaces unused..there is nothing more upsetting to me than an empty building..especially when there are so many in need of a roof over their head

    • I agree. I love Art Deco. I’d buy an older apartment over once of these any day. I want a soul.

    • I was just thinking the same thing the other day, while watching Architectural Digest. New York is losing its soul and turning into one big monstrosity, like Dubai. A small handful of egotistical men are fighting over who can make the tallest, shiniest building. And they don't even care if anyone inhabits the living spaces!! The most incredible views in the world, and nobody is there to enjoy them. And people are literally homeless and can't afford a place to live. That's capitalism for you....

  • Wow! Wow! Wow! Just wow! They did it guys. They kept their promise. The half an hour video from the best channel for construction in the world just gave us the best treat of the year. I love you B1M. Your videos are spectacular. I can write almost an entire book about how much y’all have helped me in learning about construction projects around the world right here from the comfort of my home 📱 🛋 . You guys are the absolute best of the best . I’m sooooo grateful for rocking with y’all for over a year now I believe. Keep up the spectacular work mate 👏🏾🤍 🚧 And Sending loads of love right here from The Bronx NewYork City 😊

  • I love the term Zombie Urbanism... it describe well this phenomenon. I worked in a new building in Luxembourg city, every condo was sold, but only one was occupied. If i remember correctly, the prices started at 3000000 X'D. Hahaha and they were soooooo small, ridiculous. But it is an investment not a place to live...sick. We're doomed X'DDDD

  • What amazes me is how fast these superscrapers went up. Last time I went to NYC was a decade ago and almost none of them existed back then. I still remember in 2002~ when magazines were saying "maybe we should never build skyscrapers again? Because no one will ever feel safe that high up after 9/11."

    • Imagine if terrorists targeted the billionaires' row buildings, how much impact that would have on the economy??

    • I remember that. The Frost Bank Tower in Austin, Texas was notable at the time because it was the first skyscraper in the US to break ground after 9/11, and at the time people thought it was a bad idea. It's been open for over 15 years now, and it's now being dwarfed by much taller new buildings in the city.

    • YES

  • Thank you so much for this! Very well done, very informative. More please? :)

  • That real estate guy justified rich people's ability to game the system by listing a host of taxes that normal people also have to pay while completely ignoring the benefits the rich people have that normal people don't have access to... Rich people having to pay sales tax on their nice shit doesn't provoke any sympathy out of me...

    • @Vor become like him and not complain like bih

    • That real estate probably spends more on moisturiser a week than i do food for a month.

    • @TheAlbinoskunk this is so true. Basically his argument is rich people don't have to pay as much tax on their property because they already pay all the taxes that everyone else has to pay as well. I mean, you've got to feel sorry for those poor billionairs.

  • Erich Fromm talks about in The Sane Society. A great read. I'm almost done with it and that's what got me interested in the video, which is very enlightening of current developments of things being built not for the purpose of serving man but for profit and man being left behind.

  • I used to work for a high end Tax Attorney. He had mostly retired from it, but he still did some consulting. Some of his clients were some of the richest individuals and corporations of the 1960s and 70s. He was a very sweet man, BTW. He liked to say he was "Scrupulously Honest within the Law" but he fully admitted that "The Law is CROOKED". A very WISE man, also.

    • @GeorgeMonet the law is written so that people who have money to take advantage of the law can skip paying taxes. Like moving profit to countries where the tax is lower and reporting losses in countries where they would have had to pay more tax.

    • Is the law crooked or are the people crooked?

  • Just a minor cinematic critique: The "bokeh" effect used for the shot at 12:20 works great in some scenarios, but I think it works very poorly here. In cases such as portrait photography, the wide aperture serves well to obscure the background and draw attention to the portrait subject. In this case however, it forfeits the most visually interesting part of the scene, and this loss is made particularly noticeable by the narrator pointing to the building(s) with his thumb. The wide aperture also overexposes the background to make for an unpleasant and unprofessional looking shot. This critique is offered with the greatest respect. I love everything else about the video and the channel.

  • I can't imagine being a billionaire and deciding to live in a place that doesn't have a yard.

    • @Mage people on billionaire's row own more than one home lol. You're thinking about this from the perspective of someone that would only own one home. They also likely don't drive themselves either, and also probably have private security.

    • Don't worry billionaires own several properties all over the world. A nice mix of some country estates and penthouses.

    • It would be one of your many properties, others being massive vineyards, beach front property, etc

    • @Mage Well, if you live in a city (or country) with huge amounts of violent crime, then that's how it is. Most people's yards are just useless empty space that requires mowing, and maybe has a few Christmas decorations for one month of the year.

    • @camthesaxman But there's peons there.

  • Just found your channel. Thanks for a great, informative, non biased video.

  • So basically, the amount of wealth that's been generated has become so great that there need to be things you can actually buy with it. So these units in these skyscrapers are used. The draw not being prestige or the unit itself, but simply being something valuable enough to represent the wealth you have. It's like a giant pile of money basically

    • It isn't a pile of money because the cash is active. Builders developers designers taxes, keep moving from building to building, employing 1000s of people from one building to the next.

    • @Kisama yeah but it's a sweet deal for the real estate agent!

    • @TAMIKKO BEASTY Super Mario 3D World

    • commodity fetishism

  • I remember working at the top of the Rockefeller building from 2015, and boy let me tell y'all anytime I went up the elevators, I'd pray 9/11 or any other catastrophe never happened during anyones shift here. 😬 Meanwhile, looking down I prayed for everyone's safety and felt bad for the homeless living on the streets.

    • @𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘥 𝘨𝘶𝘺 wind glider + parachute

    • @Rocket Small parachutes wouldn’t work as the winds would propel you across the skyline and there won’t be enough time to pull the parachute and land safely

    • thats why parachutes in a back pack is good

  • Thanks for this amazing video. I got to learn a lot about New York's real estate scene through this. Now, i would like your channel to do a video or two about some amazing constructions being done in india recently. Would be happy to see your Indian 🇮🇳 subscribers base grow. 🤗

  • Looking forward to see what the future of New York has from the construction and innovation perspective.

  • I like the new direction that is taking the channel, instead of speaking only engineering you also take a broader look at the impacts etc

  • Fred, WOW, a very very interesting and informative video presentation. I understand a lot more now about these remarkable buildings, and why I'll never live in PH75 @ 111, without owing an oil well or had field...

  • It’s heartbreaking to me that there are so many people living on streets freezing, starving, and struggling, while there stands so many buildings almost completely empty.

    • @I zip-tied my penis to a brick so all the homeless veterans, it's just their fault? Interesting take.

    • The great thing about America is that they’re are so many opportunities here that you choose to be homeless, if you’re homeless it’s your own fault, and what’s even better is the public doesn’t have to pay for them if they don’t want to, because it’s a choice.

    • @The Maskman Dhaka Im simply speaking from facts so you can't say that determination or whatever bullshit but they are just one person. They can only point it out. Not like they can actually contribute millions of dollars to it like *ACTUAL BILLIONAIRES CAN*

    • @Ndiyabucaphukela ubuso bakho bread?

  • I don't know about you but I immediately warmed to the real estate guy. He seemed so nice and down to earth. A guy you would love to have a few beers with. ❤

  • Thanks for a well-produced, informative video!

  • I love New York, it always had the atmosphere that call to my inner core something like "What are you doing? You should live here!", and its not for the money or succes, its for the architecture, landscape and atmosphere, this city have. When i watch videos about New York, i always feel like im watching home for some reason, the city speaks to me in a way. But its also true that the rent prices and and tax politics are incredibly bad at the moment, so there is no way i would be able to afford it. This video was amazing and plainly explained a major issue. Good job. I will be back for more.

  • Living in a tall building is scary enough (for me) without it being so skinny. The buildings look like a strong wind will have it swaying.

  • what a brilliant video, and so well presented!

  • Here in the Netherlands, "big" cities are starting to incorporate mandatory self-habitation laws on housing. This is needed to keep a sane distribution between social housing, open market and rentals. I like the idea

    • @Tyler Whaley This IS his 'job'...

    • @Romitsu Is this some sort of sexual advice?

    • @Bjørn-André Rosten cringe

  • I never understood why there is a housing shortage in NYC till I read "basic economics" by Thomas Sowell. It answers all the questions raised here.

  • There are far more abandoned/underoccupied buildings all across America than most people realize. And it's kinda creepy but also really fun to consider the possibilities for why that is.

    • @Microsoft Samalso, the definition of "vacant" is very important here. just because a unit is unoccupied doesn't mean it's vacant. for example, baltimore defines a building as vacant if it's "unsafe or unfit for human habitation or other authorized use", which of course wouldn't include buildings such as those in billionaires row. so checking vacancy rates doesn't actually paint a clear picture of the sheer amount of unoccupied buildings.

    • @Microsoft Samdoesn't change the fact that there are homeless people in nyc that could live in this vacant billionaires row.

    • Many of them are located in failing areas. There's always the myth of "we have enough vacant houses to house all of the homeless people in the US!" but fail to mention that most of those "vacant houses" are out in Kentucky and West Virginia and are barely habitable.

  • It would be great to live primarily where everyone else has their second or vacation home. Peace and quiet, privacy, no neighbors around, you can do what you want, yet be in a great Hood.

  • I'm glad YT presented this channel to me. A fascinating piece. I wonder what the condo fees are like for these units? 😮

  • Great work here. Thanks for your contribution.

  • This reminds of an interesting article in the German constitution: "Property entails obligations." This means for example that you have to take care of your house, but also that you can't divert something from it's intended use. In some German cities, this means that you're not allowed to leave a home vacant for longer than 6 months without good reason, because having a home sit vacant, diverts it from it's intended use, which is housing people. I think legislation like this being commonplace would solve a lot of housing issues. Also, imho these billionaire's row tower are kinda ugly and don't fit into the New York skyline at all.

    • Mainly the problem is its one that no one can really control. Its a matter of luck if you can slide out of the right womb. That’s closed to 99% of us so social stratification is as much a fact of nature as its a fact of life.

    • Garbage aesthetic all around, down to the horrific suit that the real estate guy has.

    • Look at Frankfurt Europaviertel. Full of empty towers.

    • @Jakob Denker greater good. that is a scary phrase. who determines what is the greater good? as ayn rand said, the most oppressed is the individual themselves. who determines the greater good? sounds like a grey dystoipan flick.

  • Does anyone just look at these buildings and say, "From the simplest engineering perspective, if they linked up to each other, they would be a billion times less likely to suffer any of the natural disasters that is expected of them." Why not? Buildings in Shanghai do it.

  • For those who didn't know, Trump also has one building on the western corner of the row, on Columbus Circle, and another on the eastern border of the row, on Park Ave and 57th. He also ran an ice skating rink in South Central Park, on 59th street where he sold his own water bottles lol.

  • The problem is that we, middle class, struggle a lot in life just to live decently and have a sense of responsibility. A poor person (which is almost always uneducated) who gets a free apartment will quickly turn it into a shithole. This happens with 100% of the housing projects, in my country included. It's a fact. Also, the poor community will then become a local problem for the rest of the community..... Every social problem, not just housing, comes down eventually to the individual's education level and very few countries managed to efficiently educate their population

  • Great reporting! That said, I feel ridiculously poor as I live in an apartment with 4 other persons. 🙃

    • apt here too. 😶

    • Think again. Have you ever seen Trump genuinely smile? Do you think he's happy? Do you think most disgustingly rich people are happy? I'll bet you're happier than 90% of the people who can afford one of those sterile dwellings. I come from a family with lots of money, but chose a husband who doesn't. I'm a thousand times happier now.

  • When a studio apartment,@ 600 sq.ft.is $1200.-1800. a month,if you have 1st,last,and security deposit,and a 2 bedroom is $3-5k per month,it tells me that the people owning the towers may just own the rest of the neighborhoods.

  • I have been watching 10 minutes of this. And i want to urge you. Please make more of this. This documentary style video is absolutely what i love about construction, how it is so integrated in human society and how it sometimes raises questions and issues. I think this should not be the only videos you should continue to make but pleaase make more of this. This was great!

    • mass hypnosis myst suit your sort.......

  • I enjoyed this illuminating exposé regarding the conundrum of housing, happiness & values in modern city life. The hubris of the glossy faced real estate agent epitomizes the egoic, delusional, greedy, self-centred, arrogant & grade school thinking that will bring down the system he feeds off of from his lofty (no pun) & unstable perch. I'm not judging the person, I'm saying what will happen if this mindset becomes pernicious. Perhaps it has...? Perhaps what I heard was all projection on my part. He reminds me of someone who was a former tenant. LoL how he spoke definitely worked a nerve. Beginning at 21:00 with a dissertation to persuade himself or the audience as to the pointlessness in arguing about capitalism because it is the "way of [thuh] earth", (a statement that is simply wrong) the shiney real estate agent has the audacity to state that these "really smart" people fork out excessive taxes which pay for the services enjoyed by the masses. In a patronising guise of being informative we are lectured about a laundry list of taxes as he moves the conversation to be all about HIM... in an exasperated tone of disbelief sums up, there are a lot of taxes "HERE" (as opposed to WHERE?). So put upon is our young agent that he even pays tax for turning left "so he makes a lot of right hand turns!" (TAX AVOIDANCE IS THE GOAL?). With a verbal sleight of hand (or demonstration of idiocy as he destroys the position he's trying to put forward) he aligns himself as a member of the elite upon whose largesse his livelihood depends. Campaigning to be regarded as the influential equal of his masters, while lauding their contribution to general benefit of the population despite what he sees as an encumbrance of endless tariffs including sales tax (which, it would appear, he believes only he & the financially elite pay) no mention is made that the owners of this fluid wealth either live outside the IRS's reach or their businesses, which have access to tax loopholes unavailable to most of the population, do. Who knows ....?? I'm a pianist and can type as fast as I can think & am guilty of thinking of thinking out loud in text. XoXo

  • That is absolutely astounding!(Comming from a person,who is terrified,of extended heights upwards! (I can’t live past the 3rd Fl.)I would probably be dead,by the time I got home!(Cardiac arrest)

  • When I first saw those tall, narrow buildings I said that they didn't look safe. I know they are built to sway. And even Empire State Building moves in the wind. But I would be way too nervous to live there as I'm terrified of heights. Plus I couldn't afford to live in an ashtray in Manhattan so there's that....

  • Wow, Ryan Serhant is either really brave for agreeing to speak to you, or really clueless about how he sounds! Either way, I'm grateful that he did.

  • Wow, never would I thought when I clicked on this video that so many great and necessary questions and thoughts would be raised. Great video, mind blowing.

  • It was SHOCKING to hear that NYC somehow decided it was a "good" thing to finance billionaires by making their ultra-luxury property tax rates lower than those of the middle class living in their own homes. Fix that inequity and there will be fewer empty living spaces, more options for regular buyers, and fewer homeless.

  • I didn't know I needed to know about this but I did! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to learn about it.

  • Wow, New York has some interesting tax laws🤣 Laws like these make vanity architecture like this possible !

  • Ryan Serhant talking about capitalism being what it is and how great it is in the world and then being like "The people getting screwed are the middle class, and where do they go?" was so close to the point.

    • I was like "it's obviously right but judging by your vibes I don't think you understand what it means, mate".

  • No lie this probably taught me more than I learnt in school 👏🏾

  • Incredibly insightful content.

  • It was interesting to hear Ryan describe the people who evade taxes as "smart" and then 2 minutes later explain the problems that the rich are creating. It's like he understands it but chooses to not do anything about it.

    • @OIEgSaS32 coool beans

    • @Andy Very well, then I say you have it all wrong because you're twisting the principle of sharing and the need for self preservation, SELF PRESERVATION IS NOT SELFISHNESS. Sharing has the inherent, unspoken implication that you can spare some of what you have with little to no effect on yourself, if you demand someone who has far less than you to share whats theirs when you have no true need for it and they refuse because if they do they put their own existence into jeopardy, that is self preservation, not selfishness and if you really think the two are the same then you got some truly entitled and twisted view of the world

    • @OIEgSaS32 I won’t share because I AM selfish. but if ppl say they aren’t selfish, then they wouldn’t mind sharing with me, regardless of my stance. The original point of my comment was to prove that every human being (rich or poor) is selfish.

    • @Andy I hate to be "that guy who pulls out a dictionary" but: Selfish: arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others. If you have more than I do, its not selfish in the slightest because in this scenario YOU have the advantage, not me. Also why doesnt your motto go both ways then? what about you? are you gonna share whatever you got with me? or are you fine with being selfish and just demanding someone else give you their money for no valid reason other than you want it

    • @OIEgSaS32 it is selfish. youre refusing to share the 10$.

  • Great analysis! Look also to the United Nations special rapporteur on affordable housing, for their reports on how this racket has worked globally

  • I am actually not an architect at all, I am a materials engineer that designs medical assistance equipment... but jeeeeeesus; this stuff blows my tiny little mind!

  • I used to have nightmares of being in new York city with thousands of people surrounding me I'm claustrophobic and would never feel safe in one of these buildings

  • OMG! Who is this wonderment of knowledge who has fallen in love with our New Yorkdom? This video is very vibrant to the essence, style, and life in NYC. I do Not understand why Billionaires build enormous lavish luxury to keep them empty to make themselves richer, and fhe people that love this town just as much have to suffer because of it. I'll respect them more when there is "0" Homelessness and Poverty in this great city.

  • I do work in many of these buildings and I work around the client's that own these units. My job is Window Treatment. It's an amazing experience to see the finished product and the views. I'm not allowed to share photos and videos of what I see in these units. It drives me to work hard and makes me have similar dreams to these people that own these units. It's just insane. Just yesterday I was in 216 W58th on the 125th floor. The views were beautiful. The wind in the afternoon picked up and you hear the rumbling sound of it. The chandeliers in the unit all were moving slightly but you personally wouldn't feel the swaying.

    • @ZxSkyLineKidxZ Likewise!

    • @Whitney Jory it's a small world! Who knows, I may run into you one day doing a Drapery and Shades installation for one of your clients. I wish you the best!

    • Very cool! I hope you have keep some personal photos. I’m an interior designer so I’m very envious to check out those units and views.

  • This part really rubbed me the wrong way, When Serhant said "Smart people end up being incentivized to make money and their lifestyle increases" Ryan Serhant is not self made, his father was the vice chairman at a company with 3.9 trillion USD in assets under management. He was born in the purple.

    • Let him think he is smart. A big fish.

    • Who cares

    • He's *trying* to sound sympathetic, but he's just as bad as the rest of them!

    • yep. he just post-hoc justifies why we shouldn't basically string him up and take all the wealth he never did anthing to deserve, away from him.

  • I like to think of the buildings as being half full.

  • It's easy to understand billionaires in this sense. It would take a lot of mental gymnastics to decide that you don't want to live in a penthouse with a lot of spacious rooms, large floor area, privacy and everything you've ever wanted in a high rise apartment, and instead go live in basically an overgrown spike in the same area.

  • It's very sad when a lot of these cities with the highest homeless rates have the most empty properties. There really is nothing else to explain that other than greed and lack of empathy for other humans

    • @salem The city isn't the one investing that much money, the contractors build those big towers are. They want to stay in business and building an additional 60 homes is done out of charity. These "low income" properties don't upkeep them selves and are often unprofitable. You're literally complaining about people who house poor people because they didn't go out of business as a result.

    • @Kirk Keelingwhat about the 1.7 billion dollars that the city could have used to build affordable housing, but didn't collect because of the tax exemption that incentivized those mere 60 allow income houses in the first place? did you even watch the video? it explained this already.

    • What about the 60 low income homes they built?

  • what an equal and just world we live in, so beautiful makes me wanna cry!

  • I love how zero of the ultra-wealthy housing buildings refused to say anything when asked. It shows they're hiding a lot of shit.

  • This truly delivers what it promised. To build on the previous video on billionaires row, which celebrated the engineering feats was all well and good, but this delves deep into the socio-economic and political implications of what these developments represent. It takes a more considered, nuanced understanding of what our built environment means in the wider context, and I loved every minute. So visually stunning too! You've outdone yourselves, B1M team!

    • @Mike o' Glen I know whatcha mean! 🍸...although none's hatched anywhere n e a r to our here Island of Dr Seuss-burg: cs-tv.org/tv/video-tAkyObxNRBs.html (grew up hearing cuckoo calls myself, although at that other fairy tale Island of GB..lambs - foals [colts] - dairy cattle 🍺)

    • @trainrover I see, but I've always liked hearing cuckoos in spring...

    • kleptoparasites is the clinical term applied to cuckoos, i.e., theft coupled to sponging • impish is short for impotent • Corporateria speak for 'themselves'.....

    • @trainrover I didn't understand a word of that, train. I think I need to brush-up on my English language skills?

  • 00:20 That's an interesting way to describe what is essentially a failed project. It's made worse by the fact they thought it would fill up, Most people with that kind of money moved out of the city under Deblasio lol.

  • It seems like a city wouldn't want to encentivise a situation where someone buys a home and never lives in it. The lack of residents means lack of spending on cabs, groceries, restaurants, bars, etc. And the taxes that go with all of it.

  • 21:07 Love how they put the right music whilst he talks about how clever he is.

  • Towers have always been a living bar graph of wealth in a country. That sharp series of spikes is telling condemnation of wealth accumulated for the sake of more wealth, at the expense of others

  • Excellent video, thank you for posting!

  • Turning homes into investment tools that local and foreign investors can speculate in to hedge against inflation has been the biggest driver of unaffordable housing.

    • @Mr. Reinterpret Cast bullshift

    • @Raw Olympia i don't lnow about any administration before obama, but from obama forward we've had strict border policy. That's nine, ten years of slowed incomong persons and deportations aplenty. It isn't foreign buyers either, they only make up like 5% of the real estate market. It's a housing shortage, it's a lack of middle housing, it's housing being a commodity/investment so speculators and monopolies like Blackrock buy up all of it.

    • unchecked immigration, more people than housing, can be a problem too. Give the memo to heels up.

    • @BuddhistZenDave and who got latisha to buy that house? The 2008 crash was decades in the making, when housing got turned into a security by selling entire bundles of mortgages to investors. Eventually, those who sold the mortgate bundles needed more mortgages, so they started putting more bad mortgates in the good mortgage bundles, like filling a luqior bottle with more and more water while selling it for the same price. So they incentivized more people to take out loans to buy houses to pay mortgates, willingly giving them the loans knowing they were unlikely to be able to afford the mortgage and loan payments. This is already problem, we are selling water with alcohol in it to investors and saying its all alcohol. The real kicker is when insurance companies say "well *some* of these properties are defaulting, what if we offer credit defaulting swaps?" Investors want a parachute for if their mortgage bundles fall through on them, and they pay the insurance companies to get these credit default policies on their mortgages. But the insurance companies and the investors don't know that way more houses are gonna default on their payments than they think. And when they do, the insurance companies can't possibly afford to pay for all those credit defaults, and the investors lose all their income from the mortgages, and it all comes tumbling down. This is a gross oversimplification with wild errors and omissions, but I just had to draft up a quick synopsis because it sounded like you were blaming the average person, and that's just blatantly not true. Poor and middle class people do not formulate a hive mind and make mass economic decisions simultaneously consistently for years and years to eventually crash the market even though there's no carrot or stick to lead them to that collective decision making. Mass economic collapse is *always* the fault of regulators and corporates, never the consumer! We are livestock for the rich and federal, product buyers and taxpayers respectively, and when have you last heard of a farm being run by the farm animals? We aren't in charge, we have no direct access to the control panels, we are not to blame.

    • @Cheepchipsable No, it can't . The majoiity of the network would agree on doing that, and it will never happen.

  • Great video! Thank you B1M

  • Hi, sorry for the late respond. A very good video. Very interesting how many parts where involved in this. Thank you and stay healthy.