Demolition of the building is slated to begin in a month from now.
It's my understanding that this tower is basically empty but that Barnett is the only obstacle. I assume that he wants a piece of the action to ensure that whatever is built here will be sufficiently narrow such that it won't obscure the park views from 225 W57th.
Demolition of the building is slated to begin in a month from now.
Hopefully they've reached an agreement with Barnett and his air rights can be transferred, so the building can be even taller.
This building sits squarely behind Extell's site at 225 W57th. Therefore, I assume that Barnett extracted an agreement that the new 220 shall be a thin tower that rises on the east side of the site.
Looks like interior demolition has finally started.
Do they typically demolish the interior before taking the whole tower down?
In a building built before ~ 1975 they have to do the slow interior asbestos abatement before razing the structure.
Thanks, Lofter. Hopefully, the crappy eyesores to the west of this on 58th will come down soon, as well.
Standoff at Central Park
By ELIOT BROWN
The pressure is rising in a standoff on Central Park South between two of the city's most powerful developers.
Vornado Realty Trust is getting ready to start demolition on a 1950s-era apartment building at 220 Central Park South to get the site prepared most likely for a luxury condominium tower.
There's only one problem: One of the commercial tenants in 220 Central Park South hasn't left. That tenant, a parking garage, is controlled by rival developer Gary Barnett.
The exterior of 220 Central Park South, which is slated for demolition so a new tower can be built in its place.
Mr. Barnett's Extell Development Co., which is developing the soaring 1,004-foot One57 condominium tower one block to the east, bought into the lease of the underground parking garage in Vornado's building a few years ago, according to people familiar with the matter. It runs about five more years, the people said.
Thus far Mr. Barnett has resisted Vornado's attempts to rid him from the building through a buyout or settlement. But now Vornado is stepping up the pressure as it moves forward with demolition preparations, which call for tearing down the building above the garage, stopping at the second floor.
Talks between the two sides also are continuing. "We're trying to take down the building and then we'll come up with a first-class building," Vornado's chief executive, Michael Fascitelli, said in a brief interview last week.
As to Mr. Barnett, he said, "We have a little issue there, but we're trying to resolve it."
Extell, however, believes tearing down the building atop the garage could be dangerous.
"We think it would show very poor judgment to attempt to demolish an occupied building, especially when there is no possibility of construction for a number of years. God forbid something bad happens for no purpose," a spokesman said in a statement. "We have the greatest respect for the leadership of Vornado and would be surprised if they actually moved to demolish."
Vornado, one of the city's largest office and retail landlords, filed with the city for demolition permits last month. Scaffolding is going up on the edges of the white-brick building, which was cleared of residential tenants in 2010.
Should the two sides fail to strike a deal, Vornado could still proceed with demolition. But demolition would likely be more complex and expensive if the garage isn't vacated.
It's unclear exactly what Mr. Barnett wants. Extell owns a neighboring site on 58th Street that was purchased 2006, where it has filed plans for an 18-story tower. Depending what Vornado builds on its site, many Central Park views in Mr. Barnett's planned tower could be blocked. Vornado also owns the site directly to the west of Mr. Barnett's property on 58th Street, which could factor into discussions.
Mr. Fascitelli said last week he believes Mr. Barnett, who he described as "tough" and "smart," wants to be paid some money, and for Vornado "to do something different that enhances his building."
Vornado bought 220 Central Park South in 2005 for $132 million, initially planning to put in its place a 41-story condominium tower. The company hasn't released updated plans but chairman Steven Roth made it clear in his annual letter to shareholders earlier this month that Vornado has been watching what Mr. Barnett is doing at One57.
"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," Mr. Roth wrote. "Our 220 Central Park South site, just down the block, is better."
Vornado has a record of patience in the New York City development world, as the bulk of its activity is in owning existing buildings. The company sat for years on the vacant site of the former Alexander's department store on Lexington Avenue and 59th Street before building Bloomberg LP's new headquarters, which was crowned with floors of high-priced condominiums with Central Park views.
In contrast, Mr. Barnett, a former diamond trader-turned developer, is building constantly. Skilled at assembling prime development sites through buying up neighboring lots, he launched projects both in the boom years of the last cycle, as well in the uncertain early days of the recovery, when he bet on a rebound and started work on two large Manhattan towers.
After Vornado bought 220 Central Park South, the company spent years vacating its rent-regulated apartment tenants, who were entitled to lease renewals. In late 2010, the company struck a deal to spread about $40 million between the roughly two dozen remaining residential tenants, and was left to contend only with the parking garage lease for the building, which runs through the full block to 58th Street.
I wouldn't be surprised if Barnett is trying to persuade Vornado to build a plaza on the current site 220 CPS in exchange for giving up his lease and selling his lot on 58th street that splits Vornado's parcels in two. The plaza would force Vornado to build on the western side of their mergerd site and allow whatever Barnett builds at 225 West 57th Street views of Central Park from the ground floor up.
Barnett's tower would be almost as good as a Central Park South address if this were to happen.
Perhaps just wishful thinking on my part b/c this would force Vornado to build a much taller tower.
I expect Barnett to build a 1,300' tower, like the hight he originally proposed at One57. It'd be exciting if Vornado tries to compete.
Last edited by Derek2k3; April 30th, 2012 at 03:30 PM.
All of those buildings are in front of Extell's plot at 225 W 57th, but I can't imagine Vornado would build on the 58th street side rather than the 59th (CPS address will add much more to rents than a 58th Street one).
Vornado's project will use a Central Park South address even if the taller portion of the tower is on the 58th Street side. Just look at 15 CPW -the Tower is on Broadway.
However, given that this is Vornado we're talking about here, I bet they'll just wait until Extell's lease is up in 5 years and build whatever the hell they want.
Barnett is brilliant. He effected a master chess play with the acquisition of the garage and the adjacent building on W58th.
I would love to see something here from RAMS on the same quality level of a 15 CPW.