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New York’s ultra-rich are quietly preparing for civil unrest on Election Day — by hiring armed guards to stand watch over their luxury Manhattan buildings.
At the Time Warner Center on Columbus Circle, where the penthouse is going for $62.5 million, managers are deploying off-duty cops with “submachine guns” to stand watch, while other wealthy city enclaves are also beefing up protection for residents.
“Everybody is worried about security,” an insider told the Post. “Every top building is adding security. It’s out of control. We hope it won’t be needed, but we will be ready.”
The building is working with the NYPD and Homeland Security, the insider said.
“There will be officers with submachine guns,” the source said. “We’ve always had immense security, but there will be more. We’ll have extra patrols. The entire building can be shut down with one button.”
Many buildings are hiring off duty cops instead of private security companies because they fear a repeat of Denver, where a private guard shot and killed a protester, said one real estate insider.
Added another luxury building board member said high-end residents have been warned to take precautions by the NYPD.
“The NYPD is advising buildings to get the extra security,” the source said. “They’ve never done this before.”
Other top buildings, such as 220 Central Park South, which is home to hedge funder Ken Griffin’s $238 million condo, say they are already well guarded but will take extra precautions, like keeping entrances locked at night, and only open to residents.
Other billionaire buildings, like 432 Park Avenue, are discussing what extra measures to take this week, a resident board member told the Post.
“Everybody is doing it, adding elevated security to make sure that buildings are safe,” said one real estate insider.
Even “B” level buildings like Manhattan House, at 200 E. 66th St., on the Upper East Side are hiring extra security.
In a letter that went out to residents this week, the building management wrote they have plans in place for an extended period of time “to anticipate and mitigate the possibility of civil unrest and violence following the upcoming presidential election.”
The measures include hiring off duty police to protect against “violence” and “property damage.”
One person who received the letter told the Post: “I was sick to my stomach when I read that.”
Security will begin on Election Day but the extra security measures are expected to continue in the days and even weeks that follow, a source said.
“We hope the precautions won’t be needed but we will be ready,” the letter stated.
Greenwich Lane, a luxury residential complex where rock royal Jon Bon Jovi lives in a $19 million unit, will also be taking extra precautions.
Greenwich Lane already had extra guards for a brief time in October, after a food delivery worker was held up at gunpoint outside the building.
“We’re warned not to leave anything in our cars. People are hungry, unemployed and desperate,” a resident said.
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It’s even worse in Florida, where one New Yorker, who owns a luxury condo in Naples, said her building has hired two ex-marine “snipers” to stand on guard, with guns, on the roof, on Election Day and after.
She is one of many New York residents who plan on being out of Manhattan on Election Day.
“It’s a really sad state of affairs,” she said.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post.
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