Real estate investment expert Tim Works agrees with our Weekly Standard article, “Trouble At Turtle Bay,” which, along with this post, pointed out that the cost of the United Nations’ proposed $1.2 billion headquarters renovation project, to be financed by the American taxpayers, appears incomprehensibly high. Tim writes:
I am a commercial real estate investment officer with a state pension fund. My job entails buying commercial real estate around the world in order to earn a return so we can pay retirement benefits. This proposed budget is so ludicrous that it defies any logic or common sense. The UN could tear down their entire facility and rebuild it brand new with the most state of the art improvements for 40 – 50% of the cost of the proposed renovation.
The Met life building, which is one of the best locations in the city (Park & 44th), recently sold for approximately $600 per square foot. Other trophy assets have sold in recent years in the $500 – $600 per square foot range.
Incompetence alone does not account for the astronomical cost of the proposed renovation.
It seems ironic that with the U.N.’s current problems, including the Oil For Food hearings going on today, the organization has so little compunction about proceeding with what appears to be a boondoggle.