New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is erecting a grandiose European headquarters for his company and charity in London’s financial district.
The massive development, which has gone uncovered by Bloomberg News, is part of Bloomberg’s plan to create "a more global life for himself after City Hall" in London, a city "where he has long yearned for influence."
The New York Times reports:
It is the biggest development in this city’s buzzing financial district, and even Olympics-jaded Londoners call it grandiose: two bronze-and-stone towers, connected by sky-bridges atop the ruins of a 2,000-year-old Roman temple.
Bloomberg Place, roughly the size of a Manhattan city block, is the future European home of Michael R. Bloomberg’s company and charity. But it is only one piece of the New York City mayor’s growing British empire.
The developers won planning permission in 2007, and London city planners approved the 662,755 square foot plan this past March.
Bloomberg News has not covered any step in the process of building Bloomberg Place.
It did, however, cover plans by the same London architecture firm, Foster & Partners, for a Park Avenue office tower in Manhattan.
It also covered the approval of a similarly sized development located just six miles away from the future site of Bloomberg Place in the United Kingdom’s capital city.
Londoners do not seem excited about the proposed headquarters calling it "a bulky, impenetrable mass."
New York’s Anglophile mayor has gone great lengths to climb the London social ladder: Bloomberg joined the board of the Old Vic Theatre; bought a box at the Ascot, a high-society horse racing grounds; and even hired a public relations firm to make introductions for him in London society.
Although he has gone to great lengths to join London’s high society, it remains unclear whether he can win over the commoners. The people of London have been quick to poke fun of Bloomberg’s attempts to create a nanny-state in New York.
Some Londoners, tickled by Mr. Bloomberg’s nanny-state schemes in New York, compare Mr. Bloomberg to Titus Salt, a 19th-century English industrialist who carefully monitored his workers’ vices. (Ale consumption, for instance, was strictly limited.)
‘I’m not certain I would try to tell the people of London about the dimensions of their Coke portions,’ Mr. Johnson said.