At One57, Barnett returns Hirtenstein’s deposit, cancels contract

October 24, 2012 10:00AM

Gary Barnett has returned New York property investor Michael Hirtenstein’s One57 contract and deposit, after Hirtenstein admitted to bribing a construction worker to film the view from what would have been his future apartment, according to the New York Post. Barnett has been strict about not letting his buyers view their apartments before completion. After Hirtenstein complained to Extell that his view of Central Park was obscured by Essex House, Barnett returned his contract and deposit.

Barnett claims that he rejected Hirtenstein on principle, and that it had nothing to do with Hirtenstein paying a construction worker $200 to secretly film the unit, according to the Post.

“He likes to say he rejected me. He’s completely off base,” Hirtenstein told the Post. “I’d asked to go up [to see the unit]. They wouldn’t let me. You want me to spend $16 million without seeing it?”

Hirtenstein has a reputation as a gutsy real estate player. He famously rented his Time Warner Center apartment to rapper Jay-Z, making him pay the full $480,000 up front, saying “I don’t wanna chase a rapper for money.” But the deal fell apart and he eventual flipped the 74th floor unit in a $27 million deal with Internet billionaire Todd Wagner. [Post]Christopher Cameron