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New York No Longer Skyscraper King

In perhaps an ominous sign for its economy, New York City has fallen behind both Mexico City and Toronto in new office space construction planned for 2014, Bloomberg reports. Whether you like the look of jagged city skylines or not, plans for new skyscrapers in a city’s downtown area are usually a sign that times are booming:

Commercial real estate prices have been rising in Toronto as companies tap an urban workforce living among the 51 condominiums that have been built since 2009. The city, home to the country’s five biggest lenders, which control about 80 percent of the nation’s bank assets, has more high rises under construction than any other metropolis in the world. . . .

Last year was a record for commercial sales transactions in Toronto. Investment in office, retail, and industrial properties reached C$13 billion, up 73 percent from 2009, according to RealNet data. About a third of that was office space. Total transactions were about 2,000 while the number of sales worth more than C$100 million reached a record 14 deals.

But those worried about the future of what George Washington once called the “seat of empire” should take heart. New York has a plan: more regulations, more taxes, more spending, raising the minimum wage, and raising transit prices. And we’re already seeing the results: a vanishing middle class, mass exodus of businesses, and an unhealthy dependency on a rickety financial industry.

Sounds like a recipe for success.

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