Futuristic Security Comes to Midtown

Written By Thomas Faddegon | July 08, 2013
2019%2f09%2f13%2f12%2f07%2f33%2f1b2574a2 8a0d 477d 9306 431ae8be37e6%2ffile

One of Midtown’s newest buildings comes with four-finger printing at the desk, iris scanners at the lobby turnstiles, and 350 cameras with smart tracking technology that recognizes when unqualified personnel wander into restricted areas. 

No, the NSA isn’t moving into Manhattanand if they were, you probably wouldn’t know it. 

This futuristic marvel, known as the International Gem Tower, comes courtesy of Extell Development Co., who hopes to attract high-end diamond retailers in need of heavy security. With millions of dollars of inventory in every store, the Fort Knox security precautions suddenly don’t seem so excessive.

If the name International Gem Tower doesn’t hint at their clientele, then the $1,000 per square foot price tag certainly will. These will not be family-owned diamond stores that are typical of the area. The modern $750 million glass and steel tower stands out among the classic pre-war mid-rises of Midtown, which is exactly what Extell wants. 

The tower now stands on West 47th Street of the Diamond District, an area of midtown that has been the center of the diamond trade since World War II. The midtown area grew during the 1930’s as thousands of orthodox Jews in the business fled the European Low Countries (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg) to escape the Nazi threat. 

Despite the district’s name, the Gem Tower is an entirely new beast. “The first of its kind in the Western Hemisphere” according to Extoll’s Senior Vice President Raizy Haas, the building gives retailers an ultramodern security system specifically tailored to the giants of the diamond and gem industry: biometric building access, controlled entry interlocking bulletproof door systems, bulletproof glass, and a state of the art vault.

Today, there are 2,600 businesses in the district, but none have been able to draw in multinational companies like Malca Amit and Eurostar, which have already purchased space in the Gem Tower. At this time, the Gemological Institute of America is the biggest buyer, having purchased three entire floors with 80,000 square feet. 

In addition to its extensive security system, the high-tech building also has a health club, underground loading docks and floor-to-ceiling windows that give the jewelers plenty of natural light.

Despite a slow start in sales, more than half the units have been sold and another 10% are in contract. 

Blog Archive


This information is not verified for authenticity or accuracy and is not guaranteed and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. © 2021 REBNY Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. RLS IDX Data display by Elegran LLC. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non- commercial use and that it may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing.

Elegran LLC may or may not be the exclusive listing agent of the properties being displayed on Elegran.com. All data displayed on Elegran.com is presented for informational purposes only and should be independently confirmed by all customers. All Information is compiled from both public and private sources including, but not limited to the RLS, MLS and ACRIS; each of which is assumed to be reliable. All information displayed is subject to errors and omissions regarding apartment specifications and final sale prices, and further, any unit listed may have had its listing withdrawn without notice subsequent to such information being compiled. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description (ie: listing, close sale data, and/or building description) of any building or individual unit. All measurements and square footage are approximate and all information herein should be confirmed by customer and/or their attorney. Elegran LLC, its members, affiliates, and contributors adhere to New Your City, New York State, and United States Fair Housing Laws.