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May 11, 2014 12:01 pm

Major Manhattan Real Estate Developer Seeks to Raise Money in Israel

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Extell Development's One57 Tower, under construction in Manhattan. Photo: Screenshot.

Extell Development's One57 Tower, under construction in Manhattan. Photo: Screenshot.

Gary Barnett, the Manhattan real estate developer, is seeking to raise up to NIS 700 million ($200 million) through a bond issue on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Israel’s Globes business daily reported on Sunday.

Globes said the issue, by Extell Limited, was published as a draft prospectus for bonds with an A2 rating.

Barnett’s Extell Development Company is one of the largest and most active real estate developers in New York City, Globes said.

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Extell is the developer of Manhattan’s One57 project, a 1,400-foot-tall tower with residences and a hotel that will be the tallest residential building in the city. Designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc, the building is also backed by the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi royal family. Among other assets, Extell also owns the 509-room W Hotel in Times Square that is valued at $505 million.

Barnett was named among the city’s most powerful developers by the New York Observer.

“An Orthodox Jew and father of ten children, he lives in Queens and guards his privacy obsessively,” reported New York Magazine, which dubbed Barnett as “the anti-Trump” for his lack of ostentation.

Barnett was born Gershon Swiatycki on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. His father Chaim Swiatycki was a rabbi and Talmudic scholar. He later moved to the orthodox enclave of Monsey, New York.

Barnett began his career as a diamond trader in Antwerp, Belgium, in the 1980s. In the 1990s, he returned to the U.S. to diversify into real estate, purchasing shopping malls and office buildings in the Midwest. Barnett’s first major New York purchase came in 1994 with the Belnord apartment house, followed by what would become the W Times Square, in 1998. In 2003, Barnett partnered with the Carlyle Group to build The Orion, a 60-story luxury tower on 42nd Street.

Last month, Extell filed preliminary plans for a 68-floor, 787-unit, 1.2 million square foot residential tower on the site of a former Pathmark supermarket on Cherry Street, in Manhattan’s ‘Two Bridges’ neighborhood, south of Chinatown, between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. The supermarket closed after suffering extensive flood damage in Hurricane Sandy.  Extell bought the site for $150 million and its executives said a supermarket is likely to be included in a 24,000 square foot commercial space on the building’s ground floor.

The Tel Aviv offering will be managed by a consortium headed by Apex Underwriting and Issue Management Ltd., Globes said. Law firm Shimonov & Co. and accountants Kost Forer Gabbay & Kasierer are acting for Extell.

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