The New York Times just moved into a new $600 million, 52-story building and all people want to talk about is the mice. Or the leaks. Or the screwy elevators.
There are going to be issues (with a new building). And a very typical issue is mice, said David Thurm, the company's chief information officer who oversaw the building project.
Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the building dominates the skyline on the western side of Midtown Manhattan, its antenna topping out at 1,142 feet.
Even before the last Times employee left the old building around the corner on June 25, gossipy Web sites and tabloids reported on problems with a building that the company has hailed as exceptionally smart and environmentally friendly.
Executive Editor Bill Keller's third-floor office once had a leak following a rainstorm but Keller played it down. It dripped for about an hour, he said.
The latest reports from gawker.com and the New York Post pointed to an infestation of mice, a common occurrence in New York.
It's easily taken care of and we're taking care of it, Thurm said. It's not like the Pied Piper is coming to our lobby.
Under a headline that said Terror at the Times, the Post said employees were gagging on the smell of rotting mouse carcasses but Thurm said he had not heard of such complaints.
Thurm is proud of the building's high ceilings, ample natural light and automated air conditioning and window shades that he said trim 30 percent off the company's light bill. An on-site cogeneration plant provides 40 percent of the building's power.
But employees complain about scarce elevators, which leave many riders wondering what floor they are on and whose doors give them only a few seconds to get on and off before slamming shut.
They generally like the cafeteria, however. It has won positive reviews for quality and price.