It’s a jungle out there for new development, and Harry Macklowe is hoping a fiberglass zoo might help corral prospective buyers into his Midtown East tower.
Macklowe plans to install giant replicas of giraffes, elephants and rhinos at 200 East 59th Street as “a way to tell the world that the building is special,” the developer told the Wall Street Journal. The fiberglass menagerie — found by Macklowe in Southampton, New York, includes a 12-foot-long elephant and an 18 1/2-foot-tall giraffe.
Competition is fierce for new development in the city, and it’s becoming difficult for developers to distinguish their projects among the overflow of supply.
“I am suffering new development fatigue,” Donna Olshan, who tracks the luxury market, said. “Nothing differentiates one project from another.”
Other developers have employed animals in their marketing campaigns in the past. A beaver holding a martini glass welcomed prospective tenants at the William Beaver House (now Known As 15 William Street). Thirty years ago, a live giraffe was brought to the Villa dall’Ava in Paris to photograph in the different residences.
Clarification: An earlier version of this story included the price Macklowe paid for only one of the sites.