Gary Barnett assembling Columbus Circle development site

Deal for 1855 Broadway won’t close until technology school relocates

Oct.October 17, 2019 03:00 PM
Gary Barnett and 1855 Broadway (Credit: Google Maps)

Gary Barnett and 1855 Broadway (Credit: Google Maps)

Gary Barnett, in the midst of a showdown with Upper West Siders over a condo tower he is building, is making another big play in the area.

Barnett’s Extell Development is putting together a development site north of Columbus Circle. As part of that effort, it is in contract to buy the New York Institute of Technology’s property at the corner of Broadway and West 61st Street for about $90 million, sources told The Real Deal.

Extell went into contract earlier this month for the corner lot at 1855 Broadway, though the deal won’t close until NYIT makes plans to relocate its Columbus Circle campus, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

Representatives for Extell and NYIT declined to comment.

The property sits catty-corner to the Broadway side of Zeckendorf Development’s 15 Central Park West and one block north of the Related Companies’ Time Warner Center. Along with other developments in the area — including the Extell condo tower under construction at 50 West 66th Street that locals have been fighting — a glitzy new residential building would further Midtown’s push up Broadway to the Upper West Side.

The 12-story building at 1855 Broadway serves as the Manhattan satellite of the Long Island-based school and is near an Extell property on the other side of the block at 17 West 60th Street.

Together, the two lots hold about 151,000 square feet of development rights. Across 60th Street, Global holdings Management Group filed plans in December to develop a 173,000-square-foot residential building at 1841 Broadway standing 24 stories tall with 173 units.

The New York Institute of Technology has owned its building since 1975, property records show. The school hired a team at Newmark Knight Frank headed by Jimmy Kuhn, Dustin Stolly and Jordan Roeschlaub to market the property for sale earlier this year. The brokers declined to comment on the sale.

NYIT occupies space in several other buildings on the block as well as locations in Long Island City. With a deal in place for 1855 Broadway the school will look to consolidate those locations.

The Columbus Circle area is familiar ground for Barnett, who is fighting a lawsuit filed by local residents that alleges his use of mechanical voids to place units higher in the sky violates the spirit of the city’s zoning code.

And Extell’s $4 billion Central Park Tower on Billionaires’ Row topped out last month at 1,550 tall, making it the tallest residential building in the world.

The supertall tower is adding opulent 126 units at a time when Barnett and others acknowledge the luxury market is soft. Yet more supply is on the way in the area.

AvalonBay Communities late last year altered plans for a rental and condo tower at 15 West 61st Street. Instead it will offer the building’s 172 units as condos only.

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