It’s difficult to imagine that an entire industry would succumb to the fear of the number 13 (technically called triskaidekaphobia), but high-rise builders in the United States and Great Britain routinely avoid labeling the 13th floor in their buildings. In Manhattan, for example, more than 90 percent of the condominium skyscrapers built higher than 13 stories call the 13th floor something else. Sometimes the elevator buttons go straight from 12 to 14, or that floor is labeled "M" (the 13th letter of the alphabet), or the entire 13th floor is used for some other purpose.
CityRealty in New York City has estimated that of the 629 mid- and high-rise condo buildings in Manhattan, only 55 are brave enough to label the 13th floor. Gabby Warshawer, director of communications at CityRealty, says that it’s all about maximizing sales. “It's not an issue that the real estate community is very concerned with," she says, "but from the developers' perspective, even if there's a .01 percent chance it'll affect prices, why take a risk at all?”
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