In the News: Goldman Sachs Pats Itself on the Back

••• “The ‘1,927 sq ft’ Manhattan loft on the 3rd floor at 58 Walker Street had a short and sweet marketing campaign: to market on August 6 at $2.395mm, in contract at $2.425mm by August 19, and sold on October 18. That’s 2 weeks to contract and 10 weeks to closed, if you are scoring at home.” —Manhattan Loft Guy

••• Curbed updated its guide to Zone A buildings.

••• “It could be up to a year before the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report”—whoa, flashback—”are allowed back into their 4 New York Plaza headquarters.” —Commercial Observer

••• Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein in New York Magazine: “We learned a lot from 9/11, so when we built our building, we built it with a lot of redundancy, and a lot of backup power, and obviously invested a lot in testing and preparation and resilience in planning. And I tell you, the day before the hurricane, we put 25,000 sandbags around our building, and the front of our building looked ridiculous, but it worked. […] We were lucky. We were in the heart of the flood zone, and I’m not going to take it that someone is going to scorn us for doing what we did. We worked hard and did sensible things. And by the way, having done that, it put us in a position to help other people in the neighborhood. As soon as the crisis passed, Port Authority borrowed our pumps, we had extra water and power we gave out to people in the community, people came by and took showers, we set up a charging station. I wish, frankly, I don’t want to sound haughty, but I think if other people did it, the place would be better off.” Top photo by Raymond; bottom by Nicole.

••• Why Battery Park City fared so well during Sandy: “Much of BPC’s housing stock was constructed in the last decade and—according to guidelines set out by the Battery Park City Authority, which mandates that new buildings be eco-friendly—the design of these buildings was much smarter than those in other parts of the city. ‘All the mechanical equipment is on the top of the building,’ says Michael Gubbins, a senior vice president at the Albanese Organization, of the three towers that his firm has built in BPC: the Solaire, the Verdesian and the Visionaire. (Compare that to buildings just across West Street in the Financial District, where low-lying mechanical systems were seriously damaged by flooding.)” Also: “Con Ed never shut down BPC’s power network [because] Battery Park City’s network was on higher ground and didn’t look to be in danger.” —New York Post



  1. re: goldman– I was on murray st at the height of the surge. it looked like they were pumping out the water in real time with some really big pumps. that water had to go somewhere and it went out onto west st and further inland. so another win for goldman, but at the expense of their neighrboring buildings!

  2. Uh, Lloyd, two-thirds of your building’s construction was funded with billions in tax breaks, if I’m not mistaken, which means we built it. So while you may have offered showers (you did?) and charging stations (like the Amish market did!) would it be so hard for you to cough up a million in pocket change – maybe one-twentieth or less of your personal bonus — and fund something that got destroyed when the Hudson made a left turn on west street after it found no purchase in your pad?

  3. I live in a Related building in North Battery Park and we had NO flooding, nor did any of my friends who live in surrounding buildings. We did not have pumps on site, like the above commenter said Goldman did. The above statement that insinuated Goldman pumped water inland seems pretty ridiculous. What’s with all the hate talk?

  4. In any case, Blankfein needs to say “We can do more. Here’s what we’re going to do for the neighborhood, and for NYC.” Or is he not indebted to us a little bit? Where’s the gratitude for the city’s financial assistance with his building’s construction, while schools struggle to be built? In the first quarter after his building went up, GS posted a profit for more $ than the cost of the building including tax breaks. And then after the storm, spent money on chartering buses to bring in his workforce that was otherwise stranded by downed public transport. Must be nice.

    (Hate talk? maybe, if the above commenter didn’t see Goldman pumps in real time like the said they did, sure. But sandbags to the extent that goldman could and did afford probably sent the water onward down murray without pumps.)

  5. That’s right, Captain Lloyd! You should have stood in the lobby and taken the flood waters like a man! And to anyone else who took precautions against the flood waters, you’re just as much to blame as Lloyd for the damage to the rest of the neighborhood. Thanks again, JFP, for finding us the perfect person(s) to blame for this natural disaster. *Commenter’s note – those sandbags weren’t filled with sand, but rare two-dollar bills from Lloyd’s personal collection of rare world currencies.

  6. There were about 20-30 people standing in front of the Goldman building on Murray and everyone was taking pics.

    The water wasn’t coming from the west, it was coming from the north and maybe south. This part of Battery Park sits on a hill (you can see in the pic) so that’s why none of those buildings by you got flooded (and also why the surge water came from around).

    You can kind of make out the truck with the pump next to the building. I’m not in the pump business so I can’t say definitively if it was a pump but it was damn loud so all the clues were there.

    Also, if you know the Goldman building, on the Northeast corner, they have a driveway that slopes down into the basement.

    So evidence is:
    1. Lloyd says they had pumps that were heavy duty enough they let Port Authority borrow them after
    2. There is picture evidence of flooding on the east side of the building
    3. The alleged pump is positioned on the northeast side
    4. We know they have a driveway on the northeast side which goes down into the basement.

    When it stopped raining around 10pm, hundreds of people and their families were outside looking at the surge. There are probably thousand of pictures, albeit crappy, of this stuff online somewhere.

    CWW, you weren’t even there and it sounds like you didn’t get a download of how it all played out in the neighborhood so who’s really hating?

  7. Yeah, and there was also flood waters coming from the grassy knoll!!

  8. What is wrong with Goldman pumping their ground level in real time? If your building had pumps that could have been turned on during the flooding, would you have advocated leaving them off and allowing your building to be damaged?

  9. Goldman deserve a pat on the back. As the crisis unfolded, they stepped up to the wicket and pledged 10 million dollars. GOOD WORK FELLAS !!!!!!!

  10. Just another example of how Blankfein is completely oblivious to the realities of how the building came to be. He and Goldman have always been horrible neighbors and no better example can be found then his incredibly disjointed view that letting a few resident charge their phones and take a piss is “helping the community”. What would have helped is some of those sandbags and concrete barriers set up nearby to help other businesses and residences in the path of Sandy, especially since Blankfein made sure that the water was coming right at them and not into the Goldman building. What a despicable scumbag this guy is, and a poisonous company.

    Too big to fail and too big to float!

  11. Jim…you should be on cable!

  12. I thought BPC never lost power because they were not hooked up to any of the lower manhattan networks — they were hooked up to a Brooklyn network that didn’t lose power when the 14th st substation blew. I can’t remember where I read that but I think it was in NY Mag’s most recent issue.

  13. @Annika: I read that too, somewhere. I’m no expert—obvsly—but I think there are two issues: Some networks Con Ed switched off pre-emptively (or were blown as a result of the 24th St. substation explosion), and some buildings ran into trouble because the flooding water fried their subterranean mechanicals.

  14. My network (Bowling Green) was switched off preemptively (with the idea that would save the system and power could be restored very soon after) but after the substation blew it didn’t matter that we’d been turned off earlier — we still came back on Saturday along with the rest of downtown. The buildings that got flooded were “isolated” from their networks and will not get to come back online until they are fixed.

    The point I was making about BPC is that they did not keep their power because their buildings are “eco-friendly” or any of that BS that the Albanese spokesperson said in the Post — they kept their power because they were not on a network that was connected to the blown substation. Full stop.

    Similarly, the BoA tower on Bryant Park in midtown lost its power (when no other adjacent buildings lost power) because ConEd had hooked it up to a downtown power network when it was built — and (just to drive it home how stupid ALbanese’s argument is) BoA tower is LEED Platinum (ahem, eco-friendly) and was completed in 2009 (after many of the Albanese buildings).

    OK. Rant over.

  15. Danny Meyer mentioned Battery Park being on a Brooklyn power grid in a New York Times article last week:

    “He and other restaurateurs would also benefit from a keener awareness of their own infrastructure, Mr. Meyer said. His North End Grill, Blue Smoke and Shake Shack in Battery Park City never lost power, he said, because “they were on the Brooklyn electrical grid, and who knew?”