Gary Barnett is the founder and head of Extell Development Company, a firm he started in 1989. As one of the city’s leading—and most divisive—contemporary developers, he has created amenity-laden condominiums like One57, the Orion and the Aldyn, hotels like the Hyatt Times Square and W Times Square and office towers like the International Gem Tower. Mr. Barnett started in the diamond trading business in Belgium and cut his teeth in the real estate industry buying shopping malls and office buildings in the Midwest. Extell’s current portfolio exceeds 20 million square feet. Commercial Observer recently sat down with Mr. Barnett in his conference room to talk about his aggressive development stance, his favorite project and the “poor door” controversy.
One57 was on fire over the weekend – literally. The fire reportedly started on a loading dock at the luxury residential tower on Saturday night and was brought under control around 10 p.m., but not before nearby resident and lawyer Michael Hurwitz prepared a lawsuit filed with the state Supreme Court against Extell Development.
“The whole area was in a blazing fire,” Mr. Hurwitz told Luxury Listings NYC. “It was a very close call … it was 100 percent unacceptable what was going on there.”
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.
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.
Confidence among New York real estate brokers dipped in the third quarter thanks to political disarray in Washington and a relentless push toward super-luxury residential development that has dimmed the prospect of middle-class housing creation.
Masters of Real Estate
Vornado Realty Trust has acquired the land and air rights necessary to proceed with its development at 220 Central Park South, the real estate investment trust announced yesterday.
The $194 million acquisition will allow Vornado to begin construction of its planned 920-foot tall luxury residential condominium and puts to rest an ongoing dispute between the REIT and Extell Development, the seller of the rights.
Real estate kerfuffles
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
One57′s crane continues to make life miserable for its neighbors. Just weeks away from the one-year anniversary of the crane’s dramatic Hurricane Sandy break and ominous, prolonged dangling, the crane once again had some issues, forcing 57th Street to shut down as construction workers scramble to fix the problem.
As the New York Fire Department succinctly described the situation on its Twitter feed: “same crane, different incident.”
With more than 52 million visitors to the Big Apple in 2012, one thing seems certain: By all accounts, the hospitality industry is thriving in New York City. Hundreds of new hotels, with nearly 20,000 rooms, have joined the inventory over the past few years. Despite this, according to some industry leaders, there is reason to feel uneasy about the outlook for continued growth in this asset class.
Seattle-based luxury retailer Nordstrom has reportedly paid $102.5 million for the site of its future Midtown flagship store at 225 West 57th Street.
The seven floor store will anchor a massive 88-story, 1,550-foot residential condo tower that Extell Development is building at the site.
The retailer said its store will encompass 285,000 square feet when it Read More
Neighbors of One57 are reportedly fuming around-the-clock after the Department of Buildings granted Extell Development a 24-hour work permit.
Residents are lashing out over a permit that allows Extell to run an exterior elevator and work on its crane through August 18, which is the latest of more than 300 such variances issued over the last year, Read More
Three months after reports that rental-focused Glenwood Management Corporation would foray into the condo market, the firm has filed plans with the city and state to erect a 19-story, 15-unit condo tower on the Upper East Side.
The Mortgage Observer reported back in April that Glenwood had purchased two adjacent properties at 58 and 60 Read More
On the Market
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.
CBRE is gearing up to market the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel towards developers of high-end condominiums, according to published reports.
The 370,000-square-foot property, being sold by the estate of Leona Helmsley, has received at least two separate offers of more than $600 million, including one from industry scions Harry Macklowe and Steven Witkoff, The Wall Street Read More
From a Taconic Investment Partners project in Hunts Point to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, power in New York real estate circles has increasingly expanded from the comfortable confines of Midtown Manhattan to the fringes of all five boroughs. While large developments such as the Related Company’s Hudson Yards often dominate the conversation, Brooklyn, Queens and even the Bronx continue to grow in stature.
Long Island City is fast becoming a focal point for the real estate industry as Rockrose and other residential developers tap into the growing Queens neighborhood. In the Bronx, Taconic Investment Partners, formerly the owners of 111 Eighth Avenue, is in the process of a significant capital improvement plan at the BankNote Building on Lafayette Avenue in Hunt’s Point.
Below, a sampling of where power thrives in New York City in 2013.