It's been more than a year since the first round of rent-stabilized tenants accepted hefty buyouts to vacate 220 Central Park South, but the to-be-demolished building is still standing. It's at the center of a face-off between high-profile developers Vornado and Extell, and, as today's Journal reveals, things are getting intense. Vornado owns the building and wants to demolish it?but Extell's Gary Barnett controls the building's underground parking garage and has another five years on his lease. He's refused to make like a tree and leave, despite various financial offers from Vornado.
Vornado's next move: to proceed with the demolition of the building, leaving only what's below the second floor. Vornado filed for demolition permits last month and is putting up scaffolding. Extell doesn't think Vornado will actually deploy the wrecking ball while there's still a tenant in the space, but our money's on Vornado for the eventual win here: the company has a habit of hanging on to its properties until it can develop the buildings it wants.
The developer has been a bit cagey about what exactly it wants to put at 220 Central Park South, but when it purchased the building in 2005, Vornado said it intended to build a 41-story condo tower. Vornado chair Steven Roth's most recent letter to shareholders said only this: ""We hear that the 1,000 foot tall, direct park-view apartment tower under construction on 57th Street is pricing at $6,500 per square foot?Our 220 Central Park South site, just down the block, is better." No wonder Extell is attempting to thwart the plan.
· Standoff at Central Park [WSJ]
· 220 Central Park South coverage [Curbed]