NYC
01/31/2011 04:28 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Stephen Ross, Real Estate Mogul, Given $28 Million To Let Building Stand

How ugly is 3 Columbus Circle?

Apparently, it's so ugly that someone had to pay a real estate mogul $28.4 million to spare it from being destroyed.

Related Companies CEO Stephen Ross, who works in the area, wanted to buy 3 Columbus Circle just so he could tear the eyesore down. Ross built the massive Time Warner Center blocks away, and wanted to tear down the 1920's office building and erect a new skyscraper in its place.

Building developer Joseph Moinian, who sunk $100 million into renovating the building, fought Ross' efforts.

From The New York Times:

Mr. Ross moved to foreclose, conducted an architectural competition for the tower and signed a deal with Nordstrom. Yet owning the debt on a building is not the same as owning the building. Mr. Moinian formed a partnership with SL Green and in November sent Mr. Ross a check for $258 million. Mr. Ross rejected it, and Mr. Moinian sued.

Even after the settlement, reached Friday, brought an end to the lawsuits in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, both sides were jockeying behind the scenes to claim victory

Now it appears the two parties have agreed on a truce that will keep 3 Columbus Circle from becoming rubble.

So why is Ross suddenly willing to grant the building a stay of execution? Because Moinian paid him $28.4 million to leave it alone (after suing Ross to take the money).

Truly, one man's trash is another man's treasure.