The Real Deal New York

From the archives: Gary Barnett versus everybody

The Extell chief has become something of a poster boy for controversial industry issues, but he’s digging in — and coming out ahead

August 21, 2015 04:00PM
By Hiten Samtani

Gary Barnett (Credit: Studio Scrivo)

Gary Barnett (Credit: STUDIO SCRIVO)

Some developers faced with public outrage over creating a so-called “poor door” would, well, duck out the back door. Not Gary Barnett.

As controversy over the poor door — a separate entrance for lower-income tenants in luxury buildings — at his planned 33-story building at 40 Riverside Boulevard erupted over the summer, the founder and CEO of Extell Development dug in, defending the practice and arguing that without it, developers would opt out of incorporating affordable housing into their projects.

“I don’t think it’s worth making such a big issue over,” Barnett told The Real Deal during an interview in his Midtown East office last month. “Let’s get the affordable housing and let’s not worry about these optics.” Read the full story from the October 2014 issue after the jump.