Extell sells site that triggered legal tangle with Sheldon Solow

Firm unloads hotly contested property on West 57th Street for $95M

From left: Gary Barnett and Sheldon Solow
From left: Gary Barnett and Sheldon Solow

Extell Development’s Gary Barnett sold off the Midtown development site at the center of the firm’s lawsuit with landlord Sheldon Solow.

The five-story building at 16-18 West 57th Street traded for $95 million, according to public records. The property has 24,000 square feet and comes with 75,000 square feet of buildable air rights.

It wasn’t immediately clear who bought the building. Public records listed the buyer as a recently-formed LLC, New York 05212014.

Extell put the vacant building on the market last year, after buying the five-story property for $80 million in 2011 from Ilan Bracha, founder of Keller Williams NYC, and Bracha’s development partner Haim Binstock. At the time, Extell outbid Solow for the property in what some said was an attempt to prevent Solow from assembling a large development site while he was developing One57, Extell’s luxury condo tower at 157 West 57th Street.

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Solow owns 10-14 West 57th Street and 20-22 West 57th Street, as well as an office building at 9 West 57th Street.

In a lawsuit filed in October 2013, Extell accused Solow of impeding development at the building. Extell said it needed access to three of Solow’s nearby properties to conduct structural surveys prior to demolition.

In March, Judge Debra James sided with Extell and granted the developer a license to enter Solow’s properties at 10-14 West 57th Street, 20-22 West 57th Street and 19-21 West 56th Street.