$5.4 billion

[Image: Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, from the New York Times].

“Jerry Speyer, a real estate investor who controls some of [New York City’s] most prominent icons, like Rockefeller Center and the Chrysler Building, signed a deal today to buy 110 apartment buildings along the East River in Manhattan for $5.4 billion,” the New York Times reports. “The unremarkable brick buildings are set among trees and fountains on 80 acres of some of the most valuable land in the country.”

As one rumor flying around the BLDGBLOG offices here would have it, four of the buildings are to be set aside from all future resale and permanently locked; what goes on inside will be revealed by a series of horrifying documentaries aired on MSNBC in A.D. 2023…

That, or Mr. Speyer will die of a heart attack within two years and bequeath the whole site to an unsuspecting nephew – whose Romantic sensibilities will lead him to expel all tenants, then fence off the whole area against public intrusion; he will thereafter wander alone through 80 acres of abandoned tower blocks, wearing a hood, watching autumn leaves accumulate, writing the occasional sonata… When the rest of New York – and the world – is devastated by an outbreak of bird flu, this lone heir will survive on tomatoes and grains grown in his own small greenhouse, drinking his way through a cellar of wine, shooting rats, looking out across the rooftops of his own derelict city – upon the other derelict city that now surrounds him.

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