The Real Deal New York

Barnett marketing Gem Tower condos to non-jewelers

Extell pitching general office market on remaining 66K sf at Diamond District building

February 11, 2016 06:00PM
By Rey Mashayekhi

Gary Barnett and the International Gem Tower at 50 West 47th Street

From left: Gary Barnett and the International Gem Tower at 50 West 47th Street

Gary Barnett is hoping to find a diamond in the rough.

After struggling to unload the International Gem Tower’s remaining office condominium units to jewelers, Barnett’s Extell Development is now targeting a wider array of potential buyers.

While Extell has succeeded in selling most of the office condos at 50 West 47th Street — and sold the upper portion of the tower, which holds office rentals, to SL Green Realty — around 66,000 square feet, or three full floors of condo units, remain on the market.

As a result, the company has been offering units at the 34-story, 750,000-square-foot tower to a wider array of general office users, according to market sources.

An Extell spokesperson did not return requests for comment.

The marketing of office condo units at the International Gem Tower to non-jewelers is particularly interesting as the building was constructed with extensive security features – such as iris scanners and expansive surveillance capabilities – that had jewelry industry users in mind. In 2013, Barnett told The Real Deal that he expected the building’s condos to sell out by the end of that year.

Office condo space at the International Gem Tower is priced at around $1,000 to $1,300 per square foot, with full floors at the building measuring approximately 22,000 square feet. Many condo buyers at the building, however, have taken space ranging from half-floor units down to 3,000 square feet.

Extell sold the building’s upper portion – the 22nd through 34th floors – to SL Green Realty for $275 million in 2014. The 319,000-square-foot upper portion has its own entrance, at 55 West 46th Street, and few of the elaborate security features of the lower, office condo portion. SL Green is asking rents at around $100 per square foot there.