Extell to move forward on Gem Tower without construction loan

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Extell Development plans to start going vertical with its 34-story International Gem Tower building in March with or without a construction loan, vice president Raizy Haas told the Wall Street Journal. According to Haas, the developer’s equity partners in the project have agreed to pony up the funds for what she called a “calculated risk” — a risk that many lenders have shied away from in recent years. The Diamond District commercial condominium currently has 150,000 square feet worth of commitments from buyers, which works out to around 20 percent of the building. Extell now has contracts out to buy the steel and glass curtain wall for the Skidmore Owings & Merrill-designed building, at 47th Street and Sixth Avenue. “We feel comfortable once we start going vertical that we’re going to be able to sell more space quickly,” Haas said. “At some point in the process, we’re going to go to the banks and get a construction loan.” [WSJ]

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