Some foreign buyers see owning a Manhattan apartment as just another custom neon yellow ostrich skin Birkin bag—or Swiss bank account. Meanwhile, most New Yorkers would give a kidney for an extra bedroom, and some legislators are trying to institute a tax on high-end apartments whose owners live elsewhere. Either way, as the New York Times reported this weekend, acres of high-end real estate on Billionaire's Row and other tony Midtown addresses lie empty. But we have a few ideas to put all that vacant space to work:
1. Luxe Ebola quarantine for brave healthcare workers.
2. Field trips to motivate slackers to slack no more. (They, too, can own a pied-a-terre they’ll barely use someday!)
3. Pristine kitchens so you can finally cook the Thanksgiving dinner you've always wanted.
4. One-night-stand rentals—for dates you want to impress (but not necessarily see again).
5. A real New Yorker's alternative to the Empire State Building: see-how-the-other-half-lives tours.
6. Bedbug relief housing.
7. Sleep-training nurseries overseen by no-nonsense British nannies.
8. Rent-a-bookshelf services (because boxing books in storage is just plain wrong).