World Diamond Tower aims to boost Japanese relief funds

As news of the devastation mounts in the wake of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, many businesses have launched charitable programs to benefit the victims of last month’s natural disaster. And now, a well-known building in the Diamond District is getting in on the effort.

The managers of the World Diamond Tower at 580 Fifth Avenue have offered to donate one dollar toward disaster relief in Japan for every “like” the building receives on its newly launched Facebook page. Building management launched the charitable drive late last month and has pledged up to $5,000 for the effort.

Kenneth Kahn, executive manager of 580 Fifth Avenue, said he was struck by the scope of the disaster.

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“When I first saw it, I thought it looked like a movie,” Kahn said of watching the tsunami footage. “All of a sudden, there’s nobody there. They’re gone. It’s just overwhelming.”

Kahn noted that the close ties between the U.S. and Japanese business worlds made the events even more profound for the New York real estate industry.

“We [want to] reach out for the industry to have an open dialogue about current events,” Kahn said of the fund-raising, which he also hopes will draw attention to the building’s new Facebook page. “We’re already starting to see people actively participating.”