During United Nations Week 2015 (Sept 28 to Oct 3) in New York, Steve Osman and his team at Metropolitan Pacific Properties donned their diplomatic hats. They may not be diplomats or embassy staff themselves, but they must communicate with foreign dignitaries in dozens of different languages, make certain the dignitaries are provided with security, technology services, foods from around the world, and proper room temperatures and clean windows.
Osman is president and CEO of Metropolitan Pacific, which manages two large buildings in Manhattan that house 10 different missions to the United Nations. Those missions are staffed by diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco, and Greece, among others.
Based in Queens, NY, Metropolitan Pacific manages a total of 20 buildings in Manhattan. But during United Nations Week, the company goes into overdrive in regard to the two buildings that house the 10 foreign missions. Those buildings are both in Midtown, near Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, named after a former United Nations General-Secretary.
Osman and Metropolitan Pacific’s executive vice president, Brandon Osman, say their biggest concern is security. The company is responsible for the security in the lobby of the buildings it manages. All other parts of the buildings are kept secure by mission employees. Metropolitan increased its security staff and security measures this week, and all went very smoothly, said Steve Osman.
During normal operations, Osman’s staff must make certain all the rooms and quarters are spiffy. And while the staff is always on call 24/7, United Nations Week is special. All embassy rooms in Metropolitan Pacific’s rooms were thoroughly cleaned and inspected before dignitaries arrived. The windows were washed, and all air conditioning systems and technology equipment was checked thoroughly.
United Nations Week this year included a visit by Pope Francis, drawing larger-than-ever crowds in Midtown Manhattan and across the city. President Obama made his usual appearance at the U.N. The city and Metropolitan Pacific’s buildings were more in the forefront than ever.
Throughout, Osman maintain his calm and collected demeanor.
“We have been doing this for years,” said Osman. “We know what to do and just when to do it. We would know immediately if anything was out of order, and absolutely nothing was. All went as planned and perfectly.”