On a dreary Friday morning at 650 Fifth Avenue, a day after the U.S. government announced it would seize the building because of ownership links to Iran, it was just another day at the office. Most employees who worked there had little reaction to the seizure, and no one reported anything unusual about the building.
“It’s like a normal office building,” said Reggie Mathas, 54, an IT technician for Delta National Bank, which occupies the 26th floor. “I knew it was at one time owned by the Shah.”
But these days, the only foreign agents seem to be carpenters and air conditioning repairmen, who were waiting outside on Friday. (Although, one has to wonder, who needs air conditioning in November?)
Other tenants seemed unfazed by their office building being singled out by the U.S Attorney’s office.
“Everybody owns assets here. If they weren’t doing it here, they’d be somewhere else,” said an employee who declined to give his name.
Perhaps 650 Fifth’s most appealing feature is its threshold outside the entrance on 52nd Street, sheltered from the elements and spacious enough to accommodate neighbors. “It’s good for smoking,” said an employee visiting from 666 Fifth Avenue, which is across the street.