Extell’s Upcoming 5th Ave Tower Will be Missing Corner Lot Due to Mystery Buyer - The Jewish Voice
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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Extell’s Upcoming 5th Ave Tower Will be Missing Corner Lot Due to Mystery Buyer

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Extell’s Upcoming 5th Ave Tower Will be Missing Corner Lot Due to Mystery Buyer

By:  Hellen Zaboulani

Extell Development Corp is building a soaring tower at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 47th Street, with office and retail space.  The construction site was supposed to span the entire block, but for one corner spot which was cunningly swooped up by a different buyer.

As reported by the NY Post, a mysterious Korean company purchased the last piece needed on the northern corner of the block.  The purchase of 576 Fifth Ave– the missing link– a 12-story vintage building opened in 1907– went through last fall for a price tag of $101 million.  Extell President and founder, Gary Barnett, has been working for the last decade to assemble the sites needed to construct a block-wide super tower.  He now owns the rest of the block, plus some vacant land and buildings along West 46th and 47th streets, but seemingly can’t get his hands on this final parcel.

For now, the plans for the 1,100-foot-tall-tower are moving forward despite the missing piece.  Recently, Barnett filed plans with the Department of Buildings outlaying two different tower options.  The first option is a supertall structure consisting of mostly office space, spanning 1.5 million square feet of space. The second option filed, is for a smaller tower–just 476 feet tall—in case Extell isn’t able to secure an anchor office tenant.

The question of the missing lot, and the Korean Company’s intent in purchasing and holding the building in the pricey purchase, are still looming heavily in the background.  Barnett was blind sighted by the sale, and its high price tag.  In the fourth quarter, the average price for Manhattan office buildings was $954, while the Korean company paid $1,285 per square foot for 576 Fifth Ave.  The purchaser had shielded its identity through an LLC, though the Post has since revealed that it is a South Korean holding company, Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd.  The global firm manufactures and sells apparel, and also owns several golf courses in California.  Chloe Saiyon Kim, who reportedly heads U.S. operations for the firm, did not respond to e-mails seeking comment.

Speculators wonder why the Korean company would jump in to snap up the lot, when Barnett’s block was so close to being assembled.  The noise and construction, and later on the shadow the building will cast on the old building, do not leave it in a desirable position.  Perhaps the company is just hoping to make a killing selling to Extell for a higher price.  Still, there is a chance that Barnett may need to find a way to build his tower around 576 Fifth Ave.  Barnett did not reply to the Post’s requests for comment.


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