Barnett poses obstacle to Vornado’s Central Park South development

April 30, 2012 08:30AM

Vornado Realty Trust’s plans for a luxury condominium along Central Park South are being stalled by rival developer Gary Barnett, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Extell Development CEO holds a lease for the ground-floor garage at 220 Central Park South, a building Vornado wants to demolish to make way for a 41-story new development, and is refusing to vacate the property.

Vornado has spent $40 million to buy out residential tenants, but has been unsuccessful in attempts to reach a similar agreement with Barnett, who bought an interest in the lease a few years ago and holds it for another five years.

“We have a little issue there, but we’re trying to resolve it,” said Vornado CEO Michael Fascitelli (note: correction appended).

Vornado, which bought the existing structure for $132 million in 2005, is weighing demolishing the entire structure except for the space Extell leases, but Barnett has bashed Vornado for even considering the alternative, which he deemed unsafe.

The Journal noted that Barnett owns a neighboring site on 58th Street where he was planning an 18-story development whose views could eventually be compromised by Vornado’s current plans. Meanwhile, Vornado Chairman Steven Roth said the site would be better than what Barnett is building at 157 West 57th Street. [WSJ]