Extell files plans for (relatively) small Murray Hill resi project

Gary Barnett paid $16.5M for 499 and 501 Third Avenue

Gary Barnett and 501 Third Avenue in Murray Hill
Gary Barnett and 501 Third Avenue in Murray Hill

Best known for its luxe, supertall condominium towers, Extell Development is thinking small at its newest residential project in Murray Hill.

The Gary Barnett-led firm filed plans to build a 13-story mixed-use building at 501 Third Avenue, according to filings with the city’s Department of Buildings. Plans call for just 32 apartments across 52,335 square feet of residential space, with another 5,566 square feet of retail at the base.

Earlier this spring, Extell [TRData] filed for permits to demolish the five-story building at 501 Third, as well as the three-story building next door at 499 Third, which is located at the corner of 34th Street and Third Avenue.

The developer bought the two buildings from the Duell family in December for a combined $16.5 million, public records show.

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According to DOB plans, 501 Third will have two apartments on the second floor; three apartments on floors three through 12; and a full-floor unit on the 13th floor. Amenities will include a swimming pool, lounge and rooftop terrace.

Over the past year, Extell has spent nearly $100 million buying up properties owned by the Duell family. In February, Barnett’s firm paid $50 million for four adjacent commercial buildings at 530-540 Sixth Avenue in the Flatiron District.

In December, Barnett’s firm shelled out $11 million for 116 Seventh Avenue and 204 West 17th Street in Chelsea , as well as 27 Washington Square North in Greenwich Village for $20 million.

In an ironic twist – and an apparent case of poor timing – a commercial tenant at 501 Third filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court on Wednesday morning, asking a judge to determine the “legal validity” of Extell’s effort to terminate its lease without yet having filed demolition plans. Owners of the New York Budget Inn, with an entrance at 200 East 34th Street, said terms of its lease stipulate that the tenant can be booted within three months if Extell shows a “good faith” effort to demolish and renovate within 18 months. At the time of the filing, they claimed, Extell hadn’t filed plans or drawings with the DOB.