47th Street Diamond Tower — Delayed?

The New York Post had an article yesterday (second item) wondering about the fate of the proposed 47th Street “Diamond Tower” … 

Despite dramatic images of Extell’s Diamond Tower that were shown on this page for the first time last year, it’s not crystal-clear when steel will rise for Gary Barnett’s 39-story, nearly 900,000 square-foot project.

Foundation work between West 46th and 47th streets and between Fifth and Sixth avenues is ongoing, but Extell has yet to announce it’s gotten a construction loan ….

Last February, Barnett told us the tower – which will have an office-building entrance on West 46th Street and a diamond industry entrance on West 47th – would “open” two years from then.

That schedule now seems unlikely …

“They might even drop the ‘Diamond Tower’ name,” one source said, “even though it’s still called ‘Extell Diamond Tower’ on permits and city finance records.

The sourcing on this is pretty strange – there is no real hard evidence the proposed tower will be delayed, other than the lack of announcement of a contruction loan. But real estate blog Curbed provides more context – noting that developer (and diamond industry veteran) Gary Barnett has three big projects on the boards, and the so-called “Diamond Tower” may be the odd project out.  (In a story today, Barnett said all his projects are “moving forward.” I called his office, but have not received a comment as of yet.)

 

Nevertheless, I don’t think anyone would be too surprised if the tower is postponed, or if it’s less diamond-focussed than originally conceived, given the condition of both the diamond industry and the commercial real estate market in New York. 

It is hard to assess what the building, if it indeed goes up, would mean. Certainly it’s stirred anxieties. On one hand, 47th Street could certainly benefit from a more modern building; India, after years of delays, has even gotten its act together and upgraded its facilites by moving into its bourse location. On the other, as I’ve written before, the dilapidated state of some of the 47th Street buildings is probably why many companies can afford to stay there.

JCK News Director