So They Say: Gary Barnett Talks One57 Highs and Lows

Gary Barnett. (Sasha Maslov)
Gary Barnett. (Sasha Maslov)


Despite the fanfare with which Extell Development’s luxury tower One57 hit the market in December 2011, sales at the building have slowed significantly in recent months. About 25 percent of the 94 units at Extell’s condominium and hotel tower was still without buyers as of December 2014, according to published reports.

Indeed, only one unit at the 75-story skyscraper was purchased in the third quarter of 2014, Bloomberg News reported in early December. Those figures came from a filing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, where Extell sells debt, according to Bloomberg. The most recently recorded sale at One57 closed at a 20 percent discount to its asking price, according to city records. That unit went into contract in October 2011 and closed on Dec. 1, 2014.

As the tide has turned, Extell President and Founder Gary Barnett has shifted his tone in conversations about One57.

Mortgage Observer looks back at quotes from Mr. Barnett through the years—and how his perspective has changed with the market.

“We’re not there yet, [but] I think we’re seeing the beginnings of a slowdown.”

“If this keeps up for another year, if we start seeing more and more buildings come into the market that we don’t know about … we will get an oversupply.”

Crain’s New York Business interview (October 2014)

“I was a bit disappointed to hear all this talk about how these buildings are going to be occupied by rich foreigners, monarchs and oligarchs. America has always been a very welcoming country. We welcome the poor and the downtrodden, but we also welcome the wealthy.”

—Remarks to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (October 2014)

“Risk is all based on what the consequences of failure are. If you can afford failure, then it’s not so risky because what are the consequences? If you can’t afford failure, then that’s true risk. I’ve had plenty of times like that.”

Commercial Observer interview (September 2014)

“If you look at the run-of-the-mill sites in Midtown or the Upper East Side, they pop up almost like ready-made parcels that you can buy and build. It is much easier, [than assembling the more than 20 sites to build One57].”

The Real Deal interview (February 2014)

On One57: “This will be the best amenities package in the entire city. All the others are good. But they don’t have everything.”

“Look at this kitchen. Where will you find a kitchen anywhere like this? It’s the best, and we have two of them.”

“Being No. 1, everyone’s watching you, talking about you. I don’t need that. I don’t want that. My ego is still normal, I think.”

Commercial Observer interview (May 2012)

“I don’t see there being significant competition for what we’re doing.”

“There’s no new inventory coming to market.”

New York magazine interview (September 2010)




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