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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, October 21, 2017

The building housing a drug rehabilitation center next door to the giant CBS campus on West 57th Street, has been purchased for $19 million by Extell Development, extending its extensive portfolio in the area. 

According to CSRE broker Christopher Snyder, two weeks ago, the firm headed by Gary Barnett, closed on a deal for 500 West 57th Street. The building is seven-stories and spans 27,000-square-feet, which is currently all leased to substance-abuse treatment center ACI. The clinic has been leasing on a month-to-month basis since its lease expired last year. The property also has 38,000 buildable square feet, 10,000 of which can be used for retail space. 

The Real Deal reports, “The deal is not an apparent assemblage play, despite Extell’s reputation as the architect of complex multi-parcel acquisitions that have led to some of the largest luxury towers in the city. One57 and the under-construction Central Park Tower, alone, are located further east on 57th Street, at the heart of Billionaires’ Row. Extell has also occasionally made one-off acquisitions, such as the purchase of the Carnegie Deli site earlier this year.”

In March, during an interview, Barnett said, “We do that; we own little buildings. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to trade them.”

Next door to the property is a 1 million-square-foot campus that is owned by CBS. Included in the campus is a vacant building, directly adjacent located at 504-506 West 57th Street, which sources say CBS is not planning to sell. However, reports say that the broadcasting giant is in the process of interviewing brokers to sell its campus in Los Angeles, which is also 1 million-square-feet.

In 1913, 500 West 57th Street was constructed for the Herman Knapp Memorial Eye Hospital. In the 1960s, Columbia University sold the building to the now-deceased Charles Ekblom. Up until the sale two weeks ago, the property sat in his family’s trust. 

Since 2014, when the building was potentially worth a high price due to great shape of the investment sales market, the trust has been trying to sell the property. Snyder told TRD that at that time the asking price was $40 million, and Barnett didn’t bid on it. In 2014, another firm made a deal that went into contract for $44 million, but it ended up falling apart. 

TRD reports, “Aside from megaprojects One Manhattan Square – which topped out Thursday — and Central Park Tower, Extell is also piecing together several assemblages elsewhere in the city and selling others. The firm is selling a Bronx movie theater for $75 million and a NoMad assemblage.”

By Mark Snyder