Robert De Niro should really want a paycheck.
The purportedly tapped-out actor and Nobu investor is among a gaggle of celebrities shilling the WELL Health-Safety Seal, a real-estate endorsement that’s supposed to supply a COVID pandemic-weary public peace of thoughts.
The International WELL Building Institute, the corporate behind the hassle — based by a former partner at Goldman Sachs — has additionally engaged Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez and Venus Williams in its minute-long advert spot. The business consists of 9 mentions of “safety” or some variation on the phrase.
The pitch seems to be working.
Hundreds of New York City properties, together with the Empire State Building and Yankee Stadium, have already signed on, plunking down charges for the seal of approval that vary from $4,200 for the standard constructing to $12,600 for an enviornment.
In order to get their seals — that are displayed on constructing exteriors — firms need to adjust to at the very least 15 of twenty-two requirements to deal with COVID-19 considerations. Many of the necessities usually are not precisely lofty, and a few are already mandated by legislation.
The requirements embrace guaranteeing that rest room hand cleaning soap is perfume free; that indoor smoking is prohibited; worker medical insurance coverage is obtainable and incorporates protection for “sexual and reproductive health services”; and a listing is fabricated from all air filters.
Nothing is verified by on-site inspectors. Instead candidates merely provide a “professional narrative” or an organization coverage or operations schedule. The written data undergoes a third-party evaluation, in accordance with the International WELL Building Institute, which says it usually requires a whole bunch of pages of documentation for every challenge.
“Everything may look the same, but the WELL Health-Safety seal means that your health and safety are top of mind,” De Niro says within the high-production worth business directed by Spike Lee.
Lady Gaga notes that the seal means “we’ll feel better going into restaurants,” and Lopez provides: “theaters, stores, hotels.”
The seal incorporates a QR code that permits the general public to search out out which of the 22 requirements the property purportedly adheres to — though there may be nothing on the seal to clarify that.
“There’s hundreds of BS standards/accreditations now,” a construction-industry supply instructed The Post. “Most of them are just a short jump away from buildings codes. You just pay up to get accredited.”
New York City buildings are already required to ban smoking and, within the case of eating places, show a letter grade from an inspection — one other of the WELL requirements.
The WELL security initiative grew out of an organization referred to as Delos that Paul Scialla based in 2009. His twin, Peter, additionally as soon as a Goldman Sachs accomplice, is the corporate president.
The enterprise obtained $108 million from Jeff Vinik, the proprietor of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey group; Hong Kong developer Sino-Ocean Land Holdings; and Cascade Investment, an asset administration agency owned by Bill Gates, in accordance to a 2015 report.
It is unclear how a lot the celebrities are getting paid to advertise the protection seal. Reps for De Niro, Lopez, Lady Gaga and Williams didn’t return requests for remark.
As of Wednesday night, the corporate listed 17,873 folks as having taken or signed up for the check and 21,259 initiatives having been licensed or enrolled within the “safety seal” program. Nearly 600 New York City buildings have the seal, in accordance with the International WELL Building Institute.
“The purpose of the advertising campaign is to create public awareness of the WELL Health-Safety Seal and educate people on the impact that indoor spaces have on our health and well-being,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement.
The advert ends with the next small print: “Achievement of the WELL Health-Safety Rating does not guarantee that a space is safe or free from pathogens.”