Extell renegotiates contracts at West 47th Street office tower

alternate textExtell’s Raizy Haas and the Gem Tower

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In response to dropping labor costs, Extell Development, which is building a new 35-story office tower in the Diamond District, is halting some of its work to renegotiate construction contracts. “We are out on the street trying to rebid all of the major trades,” Raizy Haas, head of the International Gem Tower project for Extell, told the Wall Street Journal. Haas said she believes that the savings on construction will outweigh the delays. The tower, at 50 West 47th Street, is being marketed as an office condominium project and is slated for completion by the end of 2012. Last month, the project was approved as a U.S. Foreign Trade Zone, a designation which eliminates customs duties for items imported into and then exported out of the zone — an attractive proposition for the jewelry companies to which Extell is catering — making it the only active foreign trade zone in Manhattan, a spokesperson for the New York City Economic Development Corp., said. [WSJ]