Gary Barnett lives in Queens, has 10 kids, doesn’t know how to email and bought the Belnord for 15 million in 1994, but it seems his Belnord tenants liked him, they really liked him….
…”But like many other landlords of New York residential buildings that are subject to the city’s strict rent regulations, Mr. Barnett put more debt on the Italian Renaissance-style Belnord than its rental income could support. He stopped paying his sizable debt service on the Belnord in May (2011) and could wind up walking away from it, a prospect that alarms longtime tenants.
Julia Vitullo-Martin, a writer who has lived at the Belnord since 1975, said Mr. Barnett, who was previously in the diamond business in Antwerp, Belgium, was able to appreciate the building’s European flavor and enhance it, using skilled artisans. “He’s been a great landlord,” said Ms. Vitullo-Martin, whose husband, Tom, is the longtime president of the tenants association. “He’s a very hands-on guy with his apartments.”–NY Times
Via New York Magaqzine:“Barnett’s lone-wolf style has not exactly endeared him to his peers. New York real estate has long attracted players who view business as both a commercial and a civic pursuit. Jerry Speyer, the co-CEO of Tishman Speyer, is perhaps the most famous archetype of the New York macher, serving as a confidant to mayors and governors. Inside the fishbowl of New York real estate, Barnett has few friends. He’s a subject of fascination and derision, a combative figure who is unafraid to challenge the industry order. Since blasting onto the scene at the start of the last decade, he has clashed with Bruce Ratner and the New York Times for control of the land under the Times’ new Eighth Avenue headquarters and made a surprise eleventh-hour bid for Atlantic Yards just as Ratner
thought the massive development project was in his grasp. And now that the boom is over, Barnett is even more out of step with his peers”–via New York Magazine
…”Barnett insists on controlling every aspect of the development, from the financing to the choice of marble counter space, so the company will always be essentially his operation. He chuckled when I asked if he sees himself as part of the Establishment. “I don’t think of myself as a macher,” he said.
But machersare definitely paying attention. “A lot of guys, I call them the Rendering Boys,” says Trump
. “They come in with renderings. They’re always showing renderings but never get them built. He gets them built.”–via New York Magazine