The Real Deal New York

Demolition Men: A look at developers who filed the most demo permits in Manhattan

Extell has filed to bring down 18 buildings since Jan. 2014: TRD data

October 22, 2015 09:40AM
By Ariel Stulberg

Clockwise from top left: The Third Avenue block between 94th and 95th streets on the Upper East Side, 500 East 14th Street in the East Village, Gary Barnett, 425 Park Avenue in Midtown and Robert Lapidus

Manhattan’s great builders are also its most fearsome destroyers.

Gary Barnett’s Extell Development filed a whopping 18 demolition permits between Jan. 1, 2014 and Sept. 30, 2015, twice as many as the next most prolific filer, Icon Realty Management, according to an analysis of Department of Buildings filings for Manhattan projects by The Real Deal. 

All together, Extell has looked to bring down buildings with over 235,000 square feet of space, the filings show. Still, the single largest demolition permit filed in the period – for 425 Park Avenue in Midtown – gave L&L Holding the right to demolish nearly 585,000 square feet of floor space, more than all of Extell’s permits combined.

Most Demolition Permits Filed

RankFirmNo. of permitsSum of Gross Square Footage
1Extell Development18235,360
2Icon Realty Management970,114
3Chetrit Group877,140
4NYC HPD757,600
5Related Companies774,275
6SL Green Realty7720,231
7Hap Investments633,241
8L+M Development6132,730
9World Wide Group6112,413
10 (tie)Anbau Enterprises556,452
10 (tie)Ian Schrager Company53,6735
10 (tie)Riese Organization544,098
10 (tie)Toll Brothers5173,945

A grand total of 369 demolition permits were filed in Manhattan during the period, with developers looking to knock down a combined 7.8 milli0n square feet of space.

Extell’s largest permit was for 66,000 square feet at 142 West 24th Street in Chelsea, one of the properties in the 14-building Ring portfolio that it purchased in 2014.  Barnett’s firm is reported to be planning a hotel at the address, though no building permits have been filed.

But the secret to Extell’s high total is that many of the permits the developer filed were for rows of adjacent buildings. Two sites — 1681-1693 Third Avenue on the Upper East Side and 500-524 East 14th Street in the East Village — accounted for 15 of Extell’s 18 permits. The East Village site will become a 240,000 square foot residential complex, with retail at the base. The Upper East Side site is slated to become a 203,000-square-foot residential building.

Terrence Lowenberg and Todd Cohen’s Icon Realty’s nine permits also included many adjacent buildings. Six of the company’s permits pertained to a site at 1538-1546 Second Avenue on the Upper East Side, and two more were for properties just up the street at 1562-1564 Second Avenue. No permit applications have been filed yet for the first site. A 14-story luxury residential building is planned for the second, northern site.

The Chetrit Group was the next greatest demolisher, with eight permits filed during the period. SL Green Realty, the Related Companies and the city’s Housing and Preservation Department each filed seven demolition permits.

Largest Demolition Permits Filed

RankGross Square FootagePre-Filing DateAddressFirm
1584,75011/3/14425 Park AvenueL&L Holding
2417,6793/12/15317 Madison AvenueSL Green Realty
3246,10612/19/1474 Trinity PlaceTrinity Real Estate
4228,5355/19/141 Main StreetNYCEDC
5202,5767/22/14214 East 44th StreetBLDG Management
6162,3078/27/14520 West 41st StreetSilverstein Properties
7160,4823/12/1551 East 42nd StreetSL Green Realty
8150,0005/28/14525 West 52nd StreetTaconic Investment Partners
9145,5256/30/14101 Murray StreetFisher Brothers
10139,7616/11/151865 BroadwayAvalonBay Communities

Ranked in terms of square footage, though, the list looks quite different. L&L’s 425 Park Avenue site – slated to become a 42-story, 650,000-square-foot Norman Foster-designed office tower – is just the beginning.

SL Green filed permits in March to demolish a 22-story, 418,000-square-foot office building at 317 Madison Avenue, part of the developer’s One Vanderbilt project. A collapsed wall at the site injured two workers this summer.

The third largest permit was for Trinity Real Estate’s 74 Trinity Place in the Financial District, where a 25-story, 300,000-square-foot residential and office tower is set to rise.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation’s 1 Main Street Street site, BLDG Management’s 213 East 44th Street and Silverstein Properties’ 520 West 41st Street also placed highly.