Matters regarding office buildings usually bore us, but when we're talking about Extell Development's Gary Barnett, there's always excitement to be had. If you haven't heard, ol' Gary has been causing quite the stir over his planned 40-story tower on 47th Street. The former diamond merchant wants to revitalize the sagging Diamond District with this building, but therein lies the controversy: he's counting on millions in tax breaks, which he plans to pass on to tenants by charging them little in rent at first. That has all the Diamond District landlords pissed, because basically the city would be paying for Extell to poach their tenants. Yadda yadda yadda, here's a Times story from this past weekend on the whole thing.
What we're digging is this article in today's Sun, which not only summarizes this latest controversy, but also serves as a kind of recap of Gary Barnett's greatest power plays. All the hits are there: the Bruce Ratner fued, the Donald Trump fued, the Ariel outrage. Good times, and worth a read. We also love the "maverick developer" label, because apparently building giant condo towers in Manhattan (no!) and hiring Seal to sell them makes you a maverick.
· Maverick Developer Plays Ball With City On Diamond District [Sun]