Extell Sells Rare Diamond District Building to Mysterious Kazakhstani Jeweler

diamond Extell Sells Rare Diamond District Building to Mysterious Kazakhstani JewelerNow that Extell has stripped a nine-story office building in the Diamond District of its air rights—for the purposes of elongating its 34-story International Gem Tower now under construction down the block—the closely held firm has sold the building for $9 million to an unnamed jeweler from Kazakhstan.

“There was a lot of local interest, as expected,” said Massey Knakal chairman Robert Knakal, who represented Extell in the transaction. “There was lots of foreign interest as well.”

The building, located as it is in the Diamond District, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, is tenanted mostly by those in the jewelry trade, with PAZ Metal/R&R Jewelers on the ground floor, and tenants like Danilo Rodriguez Ochoa and Nako Diamonds Corp. upstairs. Rents range between $18 a square foot to the low $30s.

Mr. Knakal points to the sale as yet another example of surging foreign interest in Manhattan’s depressed commercial real estate market. 

“We sold three buildings for Extell over there which were stripped of air rights,” Mr. Knakal said. “Including 31 and 33 West 46th Street. Thirty-one sold to an Israeli investor in the audio video business, for $2.8 million. And 33 West 46th Street went for $11 million to a guy from Argentina who raises polo ponies.”

drubinstein@observer.com

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