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Gary Barnett’s Extell Cleared for Mega Building Projects

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Gary Barnett’s Extell Development Company purchased 4-story 32 W. 48th Street between 5th and 6th Ave, the former home to the Plaza Arcade diamond mini-mall. “We now have everything we need to build,” Barnett said on Sunday. Tentative plans call for a hotel with a “few hundred keys” as well as some stores, he said. Photo Credit: Extell.com

It was a good week for several real estate moguls, who successfully purchased adjacent properties and air rights to make their development dreams come true. Gary Barnett’s Extell Development Company purchased 4-story 32 W. 48th Street between 5th and 6th Ave, the former home to the Plaza Arcade diamond mini-mall. As of Friday night, City records show the company paid $40 million for the property. Simultaneously, they also closed on title to several adjacent buildings and an air rights to another. “We now have everything we need to build,” Barnett said on Sunday. Tentative plans call for a hotel with a “few hundred keys” as well as some stores, he said.

As reported by the NY Post, the purchases cost a sum of $85 million. Demolition on the construction sites is slated to begin within six months. Extell signed a $63.8 million mortgage spreader agreement with Bank of the Ozarks for the six neighboring properties at 30, 32, 36 and 38 West on 48th Street, as well as 25 and 27 West on 47th Street. The new project will connect West 48th Street with the 47th Street diamond block. The famous Szechuanese restaurant, Wu Liang Ye, at No. 36, will seemingly be spared. Extell has only purchased its air rights.

Another major developer also got the space he needed to clear the path for his mega project in midtown Manhattan. Sheldon Solow booted the last holdout tenant standing in his way to build a 52-story hotel, condos and a retail Tower. Metropolitan Antiques, at 10 W. 57th Street between 5th and 6th, was fighting Solow to keep his parcel. After pleading guilty to illegally selling $4.5 million in elephant ivory, Solow got the edge he needed to evict the store, which eventually conceded defeat this week, closing the store.

By Ellen Cans

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