In an effort to keep the United Nations in NYC, Mayor Bloomberg may revive an old plan to create more office space that could benefit both the U.N. and other city developers. The NY Sun reports that the plan would involve building "swing space" for the U.N. during the renovation of the Secretariat building. One possible place for the swing space: Long Island City. Picture it, ferries of U.N. employees across the East River!
The U.N. happens to have way-below-market space at the U.N. Plaza Hotel building at 45th and First Avenue (the U.N. pays $25/square foot while other rents cost $60/sq.ft. in the area). That's where offices for various agencies, including the World Food Program and U.N. Development Program, are located. If the U.N. were to go for a "swing space" plan, the hope is that the U.N. would leave the U.N. Plaza Hotel, leaving prime space to be renovated, converted into condos, and sold - possibly with a profit of $220 million.
Of course, it's all dependent on the U.N. agreeing to such a deal. Mayor Bloomberg met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to emphasize the importance of the U.N. to the city's economy yesterday - and we know how Mayor B doesn't want NYC to be runner-up!
Photograph of Mayor Bloomberg and "Summer 08" jersey for the 2006 All-Star Game by Kathy Willens/AP