Extell sues neighbor for allegedly halting progress on Hard Rock hotel

Developer is asking court to let project at 159 West 48th Street move forward

The Hard Rock Hotel in Times Square (Credit: Prayitno via Flickr) and Gary Barnett
The Hard Rock Hotel in Times Square (Credit: Prayitno via Flickr) and Gary Barnett

Gary Barnett’s Extell Development claims the owner of two buildings that neighbor one of its properties in the Theater District is preventing it from constructing a 35-story hotel.

The developer is suing Bennett Brodie, who owns two four-story properties that are adjacent to Extell’s 159 West 48th Street, according to Documents Filed With The New York State Supreme Court on Monday. Extell plans to demolish a seven-story parking garage on the site to make way for a Hard Rock hotel, but alleges that Brodie has “stubbornly refused to negotiate” an agreement that would allow the work to move forward. The agreement spells out the kind of work Extell proposes to do and how the developer will ensure that Brodie’s properties aren’t damaged in the process. The lawsuit requests that the court allow Extell to move forward with the project, since negotiations are at an “impasse.”

Brodie, who owns 148 and 150 West 49th Street, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

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Extell alleges that over the course of a year, they’ve met all of Brodie’s demands, including several site meetings to discuss demolition, adding protection to Brodie’s roofs and even reimbursing his legal fees he racked up during negotiations. Still, according to the lawsuit, the discussions have gone nowhere.

Property records show Extell acquired the ground lease to the property for $26 million in 2011.

In June, the New York Post reported that the Hard Rock Hotel had partnered with Extell to open a new 435-key location on the property. Plans for the project have not yet been filed with the Department of Buildings.