All eyes are on Extell's rising colossus on 57th Street, but Steve Cuozzo is aiming a sideways glance at the Diamond District in Midtown, where Extell's planned International Gem Tower was reportedly all systems go. The 32-story office condominium, designed by SOM to sport a diamond-like pattern on its facade, has yet to climb out of 47th Street, though the foundation has been complete for some time and all sorts of tax incentives are being dangled. Cuozzo reports that Extell needs commitments for 200,000 square feet of space to get bank financing to build the tower, and the company is currently a bit shy of that mark. But no matter, Extell now says they'll go vertical at the start of 2011 whether the banks are on board or not. How? By tapping into the same well of Middle East money that's getting Carnegie 57 built. Like the old saying goes, diamonds are a wealthy foreign nation's best friend.
· Reality Check [NYP, second item]
· International Gem Tower coverage [Curbed]