If The Statue Of Liberty Was A Condo

October 8, 2014 | Rhett Jones

New York is experiencing the largest wave of new condo development since 2006. The city needs condos. They have to need them right? They’re everywhere! Even though no one is living in the luxury apartments, demand is high. In Manhattan, you have record-setting skyscrapers going up to house the super-rich. In Brooklyn, you have countless grey buildings with modern “loft-style” windows for the kinda rich. Hell, even the city’s public libraries are being turned into condos.

The very wealthy? They just want a home away from their homes, fortress-style security, and a nice, legal way to hide money. That said, wouldn’t the Statue of Liberty make a perfectly fitting addition as a “unique” condominium?

As a condominium complex, the landmark offers privacy, security, exclusivity, and the feeling that you are part of history. One lucky penthouse owner will be able to experience breathtaking 360° views of the city (and New Jersey) from their torch-style terrace. Real estate analyst Alan Lightfeldt told New York Magazine, “The best view of Manhattan is in Brooklyn.” We beg to differ — the best view of Manhattan is from Lady Liberty’s crown.

The base of the statue will feature parking, assorted high-end retail stores, a five star restaurant, and maids’ quarters. We also haven’t forgotten the spirit of acceptance that gave birth to the Mother of Exiles. There will be limited affordable housing and an elegant poor door for entry, so low-income residents never have to see the rich people and get jealous. Applicants will just have to pass the totally reasonable credit check.

In order to get a “realistic” cost analysis of the potential project, we reached out to Dave Townes, a New York realtor and creator of the real estate app Broker Map. Here we present a not-exactly-to-scale blueprint with some of the big figures, and below that you’ll find how we arrived at those figures.



To get the numbers, we’ve found real world examples that are comparable to the Statue of Liberty condo project and doubled it based on the unique quality of this property.


Cost for gutting and renovating the statue is the biggest unknown and could beexponential. The closest equivalent handy is the renovation of the NYC Public Library, which was estimated at over $300 million.



Average apartment size/number of units based on square footage of statue:

15 floors
2 x 2 BEDROOMS (each 1000 sf = 2000 SF)
12 x 1 BEDROOM (each 650 sf = 7800 SF)
9 x MICRO-UNITS (Each +/- 250 sf = 2250 SF)
1 PENTHOUSE (estimated 2500 SF)
= 12,050 total square footage
= 24 total units


Cost for standard apartments would be estimated at $7400 Per Square Foot (PSF) based on the numbers from the high end of the market

MICRO-UNIT = $3,700,000
1 BEDROOM = $9,620,000
2 BEDROOM = $14,800,000

Cost for penthouse (the crown, with the torch for a terrace) would fall in the $80-$120 million range based on comparable penthouses.



Cost for low-incomehousing in the base (they’ll of course enter through a poor door) is best determined by the high end of affordable housing in Manhattan and Queens which tops out at $1500/month. Since this is low-income housing we’re going to leave it as is.



For the cost of a ferry for residents and shop visitors we looked to the Staten Island Ferry. While the S.I. Ferry is free for passengers it costs taxpayers $4.86 per passenger, per trip! The Statue of Liberty Ferry cruises go for $18 a trip for an adult so it seems like something in between could be agreed upon for residents. We’re going to call it $11.50 per day billed to residents.



Cost for yearly building maintenance would come out to $1.70 PSF if you go for the average in Manhattan, but given that the Statue of Liberty has an annual budget of $13.2 million, with a significant chunk going to maintenance we’re going to call it $5 million a year. That comes out to $415 PSF.

MICROUNIT  = $113,850/yr
1 BEDROOM = $269,750/yr
2 BEDROOM = $415,000/yr
PENTHOUSE = $1,037,500/yr

Cost for annual cleaning of the outside would most likely be included in the Maintenance Fees.
Cost for helicopter landing pad maintenance would be more than $500,000.


Cost for cleaning by maids would be $100-$200 per unit, bi-weekly:

$100 for MICROUNIT, $9600 annually
$150 for 1 BEDROOM, $14,400 annually
$175 for 2 BEDROOM, $16,800 annually
$200 for PENTHOUSE, $19,200 annually

Cost for a doorman is on average $26,680 – $32,000 / year (before tips which average out $5k per year) so we’ll stick with the high end — $32,000 per year plus $5,000 in tips divided by 24 units.

$1,542 PER YEAR

You might be asking yourself, “Who in their right mind would pay all that?” Well, definitely not you. But if you consider yourself the type of person who values distinctive properties, if you never wanted to share your toys as a kid, if you love your country with that go-for-broke spirit of the founding fathers — then this once in a lifetime chance might just be perfect for you. When the people get restless and the pitchforks come out, you’ll be begging for a private island with convenient access to Wall Street. (Images: ANIMALNewYork)