The Real Deal New York

Extell set to grow Midtown East site

Firm has three buildings within a larger parcel that city projects could be 925K-sf-hotel

March 20, 2013 03:00PM
By Adam Pincus

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From left: Gary Barnett and 143 East 49th Street (credit: PropertyShark)

Extell Development is buying a small building on 49th Street in Midtown East that would add to a garage and a mixed-use building that the company already owns on the block between Lexington and Third avenues. Extell signed a contract on the four-story 143 East 49th Street from Ramosar Realty last April, and plans to close the purchase on or before June 30, city property records filed this month say. No price was given for the purchase of the 4,875-square foot residential and retail building that is squeezed between the hotel and another apartment building.

This would be the third contiguous building that Extell owns on the block. The largest so far is the seven-story garage at 138 East 50th Street, that Extell purchased for $60.9 million on Dec. 1, 2011. It has 120,492 square feet of development rights. On the same day, a company affiliated with Extell purchased 151 East 49th Street for $9.6 million, city records show. That four-story structure comes with 22,080 square feet of development rights, data from PropertyShark shows.

It is not known if Extell is building a modest tower, or something larger, because the firm did not respond to requests for comment. However, these three buildings are within a larger footprint, identified as site number 17, that Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Midtown East rezoning proposal envisions could be redeveloped as a massive 924,893-square-foot hotel if a total of six parcels were combined. The largest building within the potential site is the W New York at 541 Lexington Avenue, owned by Host Hotels & Resorts.

The city’s plan identified site 17, fronting Lexington Avenue between 49th and 50th streets, for a large hotel. Barnett now owns three of the six parcels the city projects would be part of the large site.

Host Hotels did not respond to a question asking if it was negotiating with Extell to redevelop the site. An individual who would not identify himself at Ramosar Realty denied the building was for sale.

Extell, headed by president Gary Barnett, is the most active builder in Manhattan, a survey by The Real Deal found, with at least 11 active projects totaling 5.7 million square feet. This potential site and other similar parcels were not included in that count.

The memorandum of contract noting the expected sale of 143 East 49th Street was signed by Extell’s Executive Vice President Dov Hertz and recorded on March 6, city records show.

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