Does this sound at all familiar to anyone else?
A foreign investor, flush with cash thanks to recent economic shifts, begins buying up landmark "trophy" properties in Manhattan.
If you are old enough, that may remind you of the Japanese in the 1980s, who amongst other items, purchased Rockefeller Center.
Well, its time to update your calendar. This morning, the NYT reported that "the royal family of Dubai, the oil-rich Arab emirate on the Persian Gulf . . . plunked down more than $1.1 billion for  buildings: 230 Park Avenue, the gold-crowned, 34-story tower that sits astride the avenue between 45th and 46th Streets, and the Essex House, one of the grand Art Deco hotels on Central Park South."
These most recent acquisitions comes on top a 3 year billion dollar spree in U.S. real estate, including "nursing homes, office buildings, hotels and thousands of apartments in Dallas, Phoenix, Nashville and Atlanta."
The Times wonders aloud if "the emirate can . . . escape the fate that befell Japan15 years ago when it made too heavy a bet on real estate at the top of the
market and lost. . . . "
You can see the 2 properties below:
click for larger photos
Art Deco Era Architecture in NYC
Alphabetical List of New York Buildings
Arab Royals Buy 2 Pieces of the Skyline
CHARLES V. BAGLI
NYT, November 10, 2005