Gary Barnett on How He Chooses His Designers and the 1,250-Foot Starchitect Tower Planned for Broadway and 57th Street

When Gary Barnett builds, he wants everything to be “the best,” as the Extell exec made clear in our recent profile. Bigger is not always better, but it certainly does not hurt, especially in Manhattan. That is part of the appeal of Mr. Barnett’s One57—not only will the views be dead-center on Central Park, a fact Mr. Barnett keenly brags about, but there are also the bragging rights of having the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. At 1,005 feet, it beats Frank Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street by more than 100 feet.

But this is New York, and the record will never hold for long, as competitors like the MoMA tower and 432 Park start to rise. But Mr. Barnett has an ace up his sleeve just down the block, a large development site on Broadway running between 57th and 58th streets. The lot, site of the former B.F. Goodrich Building is nearly twice as large as One57′s, and more importantly the tower could be many hundred feet taller, as well, as Mr. Barnett continues to assemble air rights and properties, one of his favorite parts of the business.

For this stratospheric project he also turned to several top-shelf designers, none of whom Extell has ever worked with before. Read More

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