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The Expense Account of Extell's Gary Barnett

Sorting the holiday-weekend leftovers, we find this Wall Street Journal piece on how developers and real estate marketeers are still going full-throttle on the glitzy condo launches despite signs of a cooling market: "Developers say the parties are a bargain considering the prices of the condos, and they generate far better returns than dropping the prices of units does." As an example, the paper follows the money of Extell Development Corp.'s Gary Barnett:

For a May 11 bash near Union Square, [the developer] spent about $30,000 to promote 39 lofts that start at $2.2 million apiece. In March, he spent $500,000 on a concert attended by 800 brokers and featuring the singer Seal. Several weeks later, he sponsored the "Thank You for Smoking" movie premiere and dinner for 500. Two brokers received a year's use of a chauffeur-driven $108,000 Maserati Quattroporte. Others got shopping trips to Paris for selling the most condominiums in the 550-unit Orion project just west of Times Square.Sounds like good news for that booze hound hunting for Shvopenings, but bad news for those expecting massive employment of the PriceChopper.
· Hoping the Sizzle Will Sell the Steak In a Condo Slowdown [WSJ]
· Stars Come Out to Celebrate Altair Lofts, Themselves [Curbed] BONUS: X-Men 3 star H. Jackman (above) on not realizing that his Hugh-ness was being exploited to sell condos: "Look at me?how naive I am. Maybe the developer will give me a 10% discount."