Gary Barnett wants to build higher than any other New York real estate developer has before. In a shaky economy, Mr. Barnett is a fearless risk-taker, maintaining one of the most active real estate portfolios of the moment. He founded Extell Development in 1989, following a diamond-dealing career in Belgium. With One57, his 57th Street residential skyscraper, slated for completion this year, Mr. Barnett is redefining luxury living for the ultra-rich in Manhattan. He’s making park views passé and bird’s-eye views of the entire metropolis the new norm, and he’s giving the middle finger to rival developers by selling out condos to the unfathomably wealthy before the units are even completed. Mr. Barnett knows how to attract big business: he secured a deal last year with Nordstrom to build its first-ever Manhattan department store. To Mr. Barnett, there exists no recession, no limitations. His buildings keep visitors and residents in our fair city constantly looking up.