Gary Barnett ’s Extell Development Co. is in talks with Calvary Baptist, which owns its church building and the Salisbury Hotel, both at 123 W. 57th St., according to documents posted on the church website and available in its lobby.
A report in September from the church board to its membership says the church has signed a letter of intent with Extell that allows the board to begin negotiations with the company regarding potential redevelopment of the church’s property.
Public records show the church and hotel together occupy about 191,000 square feet.
The church’s documents say that FXFOWLE Architects and Extell’s architectural team are working together to present a design concept. The church also said in documents that it had hired London-based Savills PLC—which recently acquired New York’s Studley Inc.—as its broker, and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as its attorneys.
More recently, Mr. Barnett and Extell Development Company are gaining attention for a more modest building on West 58th Street. More specifically, his unknown intentions for the building are causing many to scratch their heads, considering the lengths he went to garner land and air rights for it.
At 134 West 58th Street, Mr. Barnett has purchased an apartment building, with 17-stories, located between Sixth and Seventh avenues. This building is located on the same block as One57 as well as a building, which measures even taller, at 111 West 57th Street, being developed by JDS Development. This move is seen by many as an attempt by Mr. Barnett to further develop properties he already has in the area.
Gary Barnett has apparently spent almost 10 years gathering the land and air rights to develop what was expected to be another enormous tower, similar to One 57. It has come instead as a surprise to many that he has moved forward with plans to only construct a building with 41 condo units measuring a mere 200 feet. This may be due to difficulties that Extell Development has had in securing a sanctuary property belonging to Cavalry Baptist Church, contained within the Hotel Salisbury. This property is apparently worth $100 million.
As it happens, they are exactly back to back with the apartment building Mr. Barnett purchased on West 58th Street. Should Extell secure rights to this property, along with rights to develop that have already been bought by Cavalry Church…they would find themselves able to build a tower measuring 700 feet in total.
Negotiations have been going on since 2014. Richard Miller is an attorney and occupant of an apartment which is rent-controlled at 134 West 58th Street. He says, “Are they filing these plans for just this one building, or is this a plot to push negotiations with the church? People keep saying that the high-end real estate market has tanked, so maybe they are going to wait—it’s hard to know.”
It has been noted that Extell Development Company has been attempting to end the leases of residents inside the apartment building in question.