Construction Beat

Extell Plans Rentals, Dorm for West Midtown

Rendering of 555 10th Avenue.

Gary Barnett‘s Extell Development has nearly completed the foundation at 555 10th Avenue and for the first time in the company’s history, has plans that include a dormitory, Commercial Observer has learned.

The 52-story, 710,907-square-foot building, which is close to 41st Street, will have 600 rental units, 120 of which will be affordable. In addition, there will be more than 300 dorm beds on floors two through seven. Mr. Barnett said he is in talks with different universities, but declined to elaborate. Read More

The Sit-Down

Gale Brewer and the Battle Against 7-Eleven

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer in her 1 Centre Street office.

Gale Brewer has lived on the Upper West Side since 1970. She served as the area’s City Council member for 12 years, concluding at the end of 2013, before starting as the 27th Manhattan borough president. Ms. Brewer, who plans to open a ground-floor district office on West 125th Street, joined with city preservationists earlier this month to call for reforms to the landmarking process following the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s refusal to consider landmark status for the Rizzoli Bookstore building at 31 West 57th Street. As Manhattan Beep, Ms. Brewer is tasked with advising the mayor and City Council on borough concerns, providing feedback on all land-use matters, advocating for New York County in the municipal budget process and appointing members of the 12 community boards. Ms. Brewer successfully advocated for the passage of legislation while in the City Council that would compel landlords to fix repeat violations as well as a law that requires all city data be published online. In February, Commercial Observer chatted with Ms. Brewer in her office at 1 Centre Street about adjusting to her new position, her beef with 7-Elevens and the easiest and most challenging developers to work with. Read More

In Negotiations

Extell Inches Toward Deal to Sell Kaufman Four Ground Leases

119-125 West 24th Street

As soon as next week, Gary Barnett’s Extell Development is slated to sign a contract to sell the long-term ground leases on four Ring portfolio office buildings to the Kaufman Organization, Commercial Observer has learned.

The $150 million deal, to be sealed next week or the week afterward, will include 119-125 West 24th Street, 13-15 West 27th Street, 19-21 West 24th Street and 45-47 West 27th Street, a source with knowledge of the deal said.  Read More

Developing Situations

Art Students League Approves Extell Cantilever

A rendering of the planned tower at 217 W. 57th Street.

At a meeting last night, members of the Art Students League approved Extell’s controversial plan to cantilever a 1,424-foot skyscraper above the school’s landmarked French Renaissance building on W. 57th Street. The Smith + Gordon Gill-designed tower, to rise at 217 West 57th Street, has now cleared the final roadblock needed to move forward with construction. Read More

Developing Situations

Extell Gives Art Students League a Deadline: Approve Cantilever by Wednesday or Lose $31.8 M. Deal

Could the project move forward without a cantilever?

Extell’s controversial plan to cantilever a 1,424-foot skyscraper at 217 West 57th Street over the Art Students League, which won city approval last fall, will be abandoned if the League’s members reject the deal at a vote tonight, according to the developer. Extell has promised to walk away from the deal, which would net the League $31.8 million, and move forward without the cantilever, if the League does not reach an agreement by Wednesday night. Read More

Development

Condo Building Slated at Former Extell Hotel Site

68 Charlton Street

Angelo, Gordon & Co. is reportedly planning a 13-story condo development at 68 Charlton Street in Hudson Square, where Gary Barnett once intended to build a 35-story luxury hotel. 

The investment firm paid Mr. Barnett’s Extell Development $52 million for the site in June and has filed plans with the Department of Building for the 79-unit condo building designed by Read More

Developing Situations

Occluded Sky, Okay: Landmarks Approves Extell’s Plan to Cantilever Nordstrom Tower Over Art Students League

The LPC concluded that the cantilever would detract from 215 West 57th Street.

Despite strong community opposition, including that of the local community board, this afternoon the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved Extell’s request to cantilever its 1,424-foot skyscraper over the Art Students League.

The vote was six to one in favor of the application, which will allow Extell to cantilever its Smith + Gorden Gill-designed tower at 217 West 57th Street over the comparatively diminutive French Renaissance building next door. In their discussion before the vote, the LPC cited the minimal impact of the cantilever—which is some 290 feet high and not visible from all vantage points—on the experience of the landmark, as well as the building’s contextually-sensitive cladding. Read More

Masters of Real Estate

Developers Optimistic at 5th Annual Masters of Real Estate Conference Despite Political Uncertainty

The New York Observer- Masters of Real Estate

There’s “something major” happening in every submarket in the city, but will gridlock in Washington and the impending mayoral election thrust the city back into recession – or even into a backdrop of crime and bankruptcy reminiscent of the 1970’s?

Not a chance, said a group of the city’s top real estate developers at Observer Read More

Mortgage Observer

EB-5 Funding On Rise, Long Arm of Law Watchful

Applications for the EB-5 program are on the rise.

It started with Gary Barnett’s Gem Tower and Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards. When credit tightened in 2009, some of the most respected New York developers had begun turning to foreign money to finance their construction projects via the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ EB-5 program. The federal program is designed to provide permanent residency to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in job-creating projects. Of late, with the banking sector increasingly willing to finance projects but with the loan-to-cost of their loans languishing in the 60 percent to 65 percent range, EB-5 funding—for which interest rates are usually in the one-digit range—is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to costlier mezzanine financing, sources told Mortgage Observer.

Read More

Financing

Gary Barnett Seeks $1B Loan from Chinese Bank

Gary Barnett

Gary Barnett, founder of Extell Development, is seeking approximately $1 billion in financing from Export-Import Bank of China for the planned condominium development at 225 West 57th Street, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today.

If the deal is closed, it would likely be the largest loan for a U.S. real estate construction project since the market downturn, according to the Journal report. The project, as designed, would be the largest residential building in the United States, rising just a block away from Extell’s soon to be completed One57 residential tower.  Last year, Nordstrom agreed to anchor the development with its first New York flagship location. Read More