Gary Barnett taps outsider as CEO of Extell

Former Westbrook COO Sush Torgalkar will lead prolific firm

Gary Barnett and Sush Torgalkar
Gary Barnett and Sush Torgalkar

Gary Barnett — the mastermind behind some of the city’s most ambitious condominiums — has tapped an outsider to run his 30-year-old development firm.

The founder of Extell Development Company named Sush Torgalkar, former chief operating officer of Westbrook Partners, to the role effective immediately, he announced Monday. Barnett, who is not retiring, will stay on as chairman, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In a statement, Extell said Torgalkar will help to grow the firm’s business and to oversee its existing portfolio, which includes projects like One Manhattan Square and Central Park Tower, an ultra-luxury project where prices could surpass the record set at another Extell project, One57. In 2014, tech billionaire Michael Dell paid $100.5 million for the pad in the city’s biggest residential sale to date.

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Extell has more than 1,500 units in the pipeline, according to an analysis by The Real Deal. Anna Zarro left her post as Extell’s head of sales and marketing last summer, however remained a consultant on the firm’s rental projects.

Torgalkar comes from Westbrook, where he was COO of the firm, which has $11 billion worth of property under management. This year, Westbrook bought the Union Square W Hotel for $165.5 million and took a majority stake in HFZ Capital Group’s redevelopment of the Belnord on the Upper West Side. In partnership with DDG, it owns The Standish in Brooklyn Heights, where Matt Damon and celebrity couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski just purchased units. Petershill, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs, bought a stake in Westbrook in October.

Extell and Westbrook partnered on several deals — including 995 Fifth Avenue and the Lucida on East 85th Street. [WSJ]E.B. Solomont