Extell’s Gem Tower drawing city, state funds

June 24, 2010 09:30AM

Extell’s Raizy Haas and the Gem

Extell is already receiving $49.6 million in tax breaks from the city for its 34-story International Gem Tower at 44 West 47th Street, and today, the building’s future tenants are also expected to get in on the action with up to $100 million in state aid, the New York Times reported. The funding, which would amount to the state jobs program’s largest-ever loan, and would go toward granting jewelry and diamond merchants low-interest loans of up to $5 million for the purchase of condominiums in the 748,000-square-foot tower. The financing is intended to help stimulate the U.S. diamond industry as it competes with diamond centers in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Dubai and Antwerp, though some say the diamond industry is doing just fine without the government’s help — accounting for 40 percent of diamond sales across the globe. State economic development officials are expected to approve the plan today. Meanwhile, Extell’s Raizy Haas said the company is hoping for a construction loan in the next few weeks and has contracts signed on 140,000 square feet worth of space in the once-stalled project. The Gemological Institute of America recently inked a deal to take the fifth floor. [NYT]