Barnett buys Diamond District building for $73 million at auction

By Adam Pincus | February 10, 2011 02:31PM

Gary Barnett and 20 West 47th Street

Gary Barnett won the 14-story office building located at 20 West 47th Street at a judicial sale today in the rotunda of The State Supreme Court building at 60 Centre Street, with a winning bid of $73 million (note: correction appended).

Barnett, president of Extell Development, beat out multiple bidders, including Parkway Realty and Bluestone Group, for the building between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

“We think the price for a 150,000-[square-foot] building, close to Fifth Avenue, with a large jewelry exchange made sense for us to purchase,” Barnett said in an e-mail. “We expect the whole block to be upgraded once the International Gem Tower (which his firm is building on the same block at 50 West 47th Street) goes vertical, which will be within two months.”

Bluestone Group bid up to $65.25 million, where it stopped bidding, a source at the auction said. Parkway and Barnett competed until $73 million, at which point Barnett won, the insider, who asked not to be identified, said.

Barnett was a 75 percent owner of the building, and Frank and Michael Ring, of F.M. Ring Associates, owned the remaining 25 percent, court records show.

Barnett only needs to pay $18.25 million, however, because he already owns 75 percent of the building, court records indicated.

Bluestone Group did not respond to requests for comment, and Parkway could not immediately be reached for comment.