Gary Barnett Pockets Another Diamond District Gem

9west46 Gary Barnett Pockets Another Diamond District GemO.K., so it isn’t exactly a gem–at least not yet–but Mr. Barnett’s Extell has indeed pocketed another unremarkable property on 46th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, in an apparent effort to move ahead with more development in the Diamond Distrisct. 

In 2007 and 2008, Extell plucked a number such modest properties for its Diamond District jewel box. But in the last few years, the developer has bought little, and, if anything, sold off properties.  

In one of its first buys on the block since the bust, Extell just purchased 9 West 46th Street for $10.2 million, city records show. The deal for the five-story building includes air rights, according to the seller’s broker from First Atlantic Realty Company, who was clearly baffled by the sudden interest in what he called “a regular apartment building with a retail component.” He declined to discuss the buyer’s plans. 

The property is part of an assemblage, according to one source not connected with the deal. The developer already owns a smattering of buildings on that side of the block, at 13, 19, 29 and 53 West 46th Street. The developer also owns 2 to 8 West 47th Street, adjacent to 9 West 46th Street. Last year, Extell sold an office tower at 31 and 33 West 46th Street, which it stripped of air rights for its International Gem Tower at Fifth Avenue and 47th Street. 

The Gem Tower has already gone vertical, and Extell is likewise in the process of building a hotel at 30 West 46th Street. 

Extell personnel are off this Passover week, and could not be reached for comment.  

lkusisto@observer.com