Gary Barnett’s secretive Diamond District development, it turns out, will be a hotel with several hundred rooms. And the developer is now ready to move ahead with those plans after securing the last properties he needs in order to build.
Extell Development closed on the four-story former home of the Plaza Arcade diamond mini-mall at 32 West 48th Street for $40 million, the New York Post reported.
The developer also purchased several nearby buildings and air rights totaling $85 million. Extell has tentative plans to build a hotel with “a few hundred keys” and stores, Barnett told the Post.
“We now have everything we need to build,” he said.
Barnett added that construction is expected to begin in six months on the project, which will connect West 48th Street to the diamond block on West 47th Street. Earlier this year, the company filed plans to demolish several buildings in the area, stoking speculation about what Barnett had planned for the site.
Extell signed a $63.8 million mortgage-spreader agreement with Bank of the Ozarks covering six adjacent properties.
Barnett, who used to work in the diamond industry, developed the 35-story International Gem Tower at 50 West 47th Street, and is currently at work on the $4 billion Central Park Tower. [NYP] – Rich Bockmann