The Real Deal New York

Foreign NYC buyer argues that she is “not the enemy”

February 23, 2014 10:00AM

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Luxury towers along Central Park South

Luxury towers along Central Park South

WEEKENDEDITION Affordable housing advocates, activists fighting gentrification and politicians have all, at one point or another, wagged their fingers at super-rich foreign natives that snatch up luxury condos for staggering sums. But Toronto-native and West 57th Street-condo-buyer, Diane Francis, claims that it is precisely foreign buyers like herself that “are the solution, not the problem, to New York’s budget.” 

Francis has owned a condo in NYC since 2005, but she recently purchased another in a 25-year-old building on West 57th Street, near One57 and other controversial luxury developments. Writing in the New York Post, she explains why foreign buyers choose to buy in NYC.

“To us, New York outshines other capitals such as London or Paris because it’s the world’s biggest shopping mall, complete with 24-hour room service,” Francis writes. “It’s also a theme park for adults who like theater, art, museums, opera, comedy clubs, food, fashion and dynamic streetscapes. We have invested our after-tax Canadian dollars here rather than buying a place in Florida to golf and mall walk.”

Francis rejects Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Tale of Two Cities” narrative, arguing that New York City needs more “walking wallets.” Foreign part-time NYC residents encourage development and create jobs without burdening infrastructure. And with 63 percent of foreign buyers paying cash, they can even be a boon to “an over-leveraged real estate market.”

“We are an economic fantasy come true,” she writes. “We support cheesy souvenir shops, park vendors peddling iconic photos of Depression workers on a girder and reworked musicals on Broadway. We bring in relatives and friends who love riding the horse drawn carts through Central Park. We buy the T-shirts and the labels at Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman.” [NYP]Christopher Cameron

  • get out

    Sing it sista! You sound like an asshole filled with self loathing for your own god-forsaken country (I spent one year there for work so I know – dreadful, bland place). You have the nerve reference our city as a shopping mall with lots of treats for you and yours.
    This city consists of people from all walks of life and incomes and each one is proud to be here…until we bump into someone like you who thinks they own the city because they “pump money into it”.
    A true New YOrker is not a part time resident with 2 luxury condos.

    • I love your view.

      Oh, Canada, Florida thanks you every day but here in NYC, where there are a TON of insecure parvenues FINALLY comfortable with calling themselves “real new yorkers” you are their whipping boy – it’s not personal and it’s certainly not adept despite being quite ardent but hey, at least you are not a slumlord.

      Who doesn’t love Canadians?

    • Victor

      Just another nasty angry Libtard always ready to attack.

  • guest
    • Victor

      Welcome to Libtardia. People come to NYC & pump billions into the economy and filthy whiny crybaby Libtards have their panties in a bunch that non residents don’t pay local taxes.
      LOL. Silly Libtards.

  • “shakes head”

    wow. is everyone on this thread Canadian? A foreigner? In real estate development?

    The truth is – you/we are all getting priced out of NYC real estate.

    Reacting to a quote with civic pride in no way, shape or form makes one a “libtard” (whatever that is)

  • mk

    I don’t know what you guys are thinking but there are certainly no walking wallets over here in Canada, and we’re definitely not “walking our wallets” over to NYC. We have the same foreign investment issue up there and it’s something we learn to live with. Having said that. foreign investments drive other parts of the economy that are often ignored.

  • The 20%

    Except you pay no local income tax. Rich locals probably don’t burden the system much, but pay income and real estate taxes and support more local business. I’m not sure why those people are getting a bad rap by comparison. They are also part of the community and probably more likely to give to local charity, etc.

  • Doug

    Yes, gleaming new luxury towers are sprouting like mushrooms all over Manhattan. Since the only buyers that can afford to pay $5,000/sf are in the 1%, the units are being purchased as investments as opposed to places to live. For the most part, these buildings will all be empty.

  • Flipoutnyc

    Sorry Rent stabilize renters!! > if you want to have the rent stabilized apartment, you can’t buy any luxury

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