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This Central Park South Building Full O' Dentists Is Worth A Lot

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The blocks south of Central Park—which, it could be argued, house the city's most precious real estate—will soon be filled with all manner of megatowers. That's why, the Times reports, it's a bit odd that a 15-story building right on Central Park South has survived as long as it has, filled with 29 dentists' offices and an assortment of other doctors. The teeth-cleaning recliners boast the best views in town, owners at 30 Central Park South say, which is why they are both wary to give them up but also eager to reap the financial reward that comes with selling a coveted parcel of buildable land to a developer.

While the building's owners, the majority of whom would have to agree to a sale, are torn over the keep-or-sell conundrum, the point is somewhat moot for now, considering that there are currently no actual offers on the table. But, as the Times notes, that might not be true for long.

The most obvious suitor would be Steve Witkoff and Harry Macklowe, who not only control the Park Lane Hotel next door, which they purchased in 2013 for $660 million, but also 21 West 58th Street, a rental building that backs onto 30 Central Park South. Both could be demolished and replaced with a tower of 80 stories or more, much more if the medical building was incorporated. This has led rivals, most notably Gary Barnett, the president of Extell Development, to approach the board about a purchase. He successfully held up a similar project near Columbus Circle for years by renting the garage beneath it. If he controlled 30 Central Park South, he could build his own project or at least impede the Witkoff-Macklowe tower at a time when demand for multimillion-dollar apartments along the park is said to be cooling.

Who's going to bet on Barnett will pull another one of his "snatch up a property so that my competitors can't get it, then finally sell it to them for a pretty penny" moves, a la 220 Central Park South (the hold-up referenced near Columbus Circle?)? The odds seem good. And, accordingly, those panoramic dentist-chair views seem doomed.
· A Dental Hub With Central Park Views May Go on the Market [NYT]