One of the first signs yesterday that Hurricane Sandy meant business was when a crane 1,000 feet above 57th Street collapsed. The city quickly evacuated the area and turned off gas, steam and electricity there so as to prevent an explosion if the crane actually fell to the ground. But impressively the crane did not fall down amidst last night's incredible winds. But why look on the bright side when at least one PR man can't get into his office!

Part of the reason the crane was still up today was that Sandy's winds haven't entirely stopped. "Hopefully it will hold," Gary Barnett, the president of Extell Development told Crain's today. "As soon as we're allowed we're going to try to secure it and take it down. Right now the wind is still too strong. Everything that can be done is being done."

Meanwhile, for what it is worth, Mayor Bloomberg this morning said the Department of Buildings has examined the site and declared it stable. Once the crane is secured neighbors will be allowed back into their homes and offices. And City Buildings Department chief spokesman Tony Sclafani goes on to say that the investigation is just starting (though engineers believe wind gusts estimated at 80 to 100 mph played a big role in the collapse).

But with the crane still there some neighbors are livid. Just livid! PR guy Ronn Torossian even went so far as to sent out a blast today demanding that Extell pay through the nose for keeping him from his offices today. So angry he goes and threatens the real estate value of the unfinished building (which has some VERY expensive apartments in it):

As an entrepreneur while the city starts to recover, I’d love to go to my office and sit at my desk to work - but due to the crane teetering high above 57th Street I am unable to enter my office which faces the crane as the NYPD has ordered the immediate area closed. The 90-story residential tower, One57, at 157 W. 57th St was expected to be the most expensive real estate condominium in Manhattan ever built - and in a building where over $2 Billion in condos are being marketed it’s another headache for the city to deal with.
...
The City of New York should demand that Extell & Barnett pay back the city, residents and businesses back for the millions it will cost because of their negligence. I am sure they will rightfully face many lawsuits for their negligence.

It won’t take long for search engine results, marketers, and word of mouth to affect real estate values in that building. The time is now for Extell to do the right thing. One57 needs to handle the crisis PR situation in front of it immediately.


At first we thought Torossian wasn't quite keeping things in perspective but then we looked at the Onion and realized he was probably just getting harassed by him mom.