Extell in contract on key piece of $100M Upper West Side assemblage

Gristedes anchors property marketed as condo development play

Gary Barnett and 2551 Broadway (Credit: Alistair Gardiner for <em>The Real Deal</em> and Google Maps)
Gary Barnett and 2551 Broadway (Credit: Alistair Gardiner for The Real Deal and Google Maps)

Gary Barnett is buying another Gristedes site, and this one also won’t likely stay standing for long.

His firm Extell Development is assembling an Upper West Side development site with over 200,000 buildable square feet at the southwest corner of West 96th Street and Broadway, sources told The Real Deal.

The firm is in contract to acquire a two-story corner building anchored by a Gristedes supermarket at 262 West 96th Street for well over $600 per buildable square foot and is in the process of gathering air rights from nearby buildings, sources said. Once the assemblage is complete, the purchase price will total just north of $100 million, or about $500 per buildable square foot, sources said.

The purchase of 262 West 96th Street – also known as 2551-2555 Broadway – is slated to close in October, when the site will be ready for demolition. That building alone offers 126,000 buildable square feet, property records show.

The remaining air rights Extell is still negotiating to buy are from the nearby co-op buildings along West 95th Street, sources said.

An Eastern Consolidated team led by Peter Hauspurg and Brian Ezratty was marketing the site, likely for a condominium project.

The property is majority owned by philanthropist and real estate investor Susan Carmel Lehrman, widow of the late real estate executive Robert Carmel. Carmel, who died in 1996, was a member of one of the three real estate families whose holdings formed the core of GVA Williams, the predecessor to Colliers International. The Carmel family has owned the building since the mid-1980s, records show.

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Robert’s brother, Kenneth Carmel, owns the minority stake in the building and his son-in-law, Colliers International executive Robert Getreu, manages the property.

Carmel Lehrman and Getreu did not respond to multiple requests for comment, while the brokers and Extell declined to speak.

Sources said the property has been on and off the market in recent years as a result of differences between the owners. Just a few years ago, the owners were said to be asking prices closer to $800 and $900 per square foot.

Carmel Lehrman and Getreu have also been looking to sell a development site a few blocks south, one with 75,000 buildable square feet at 2503-2509 Broadway and West 93rd Street.

Extell [TRDataCustom] is focused on One Manhattan Square and Central Park Tower, two major condo projects on the Lower East Side and in Midtown respectively. Last week, the developer took an extra $100 million in construction financing for the 80-story One Manhattan Square, bringing the total loan to $700 million.

Last year, Extell closed on the purchase of another Gristedes site, at 350 East 86th Street on the Upper East Side, for $93 million.

(To view more of Extell Development’s commercial sales transactions, click here)