Durst Family to Build Skyscraper Near Landmark Clock Tower in Queens
Founded in 1915, the Durst Organization is one of New York’s oldest family-run real estate companies. In the past, the company has overseen the development of such projects as the One World Trade Center. Now, Durst has set its sights on another ambitious project with the development of a 63-story tower near Queens Plaza’s Clock Tower building, according to city records cited by DNA Info. com.
According to a June 30 report by the Real Deal, the tower will boast 763 rental units and 8,702 square feet of commercial space, making it one of Queens largest residential projects based on NYC Department of Buildings documents. Curbed New York reports that the Durst Organization purchased the development site in 2016 from the Hakim Organization and Property Markets Group in 2016 for $175 million. At 710 feet, the final building will fall somewhat short of its more imposing initial projected height of over 900 feet.
Though Property Markets Group and Hakim Organization scrapped their plan to create a mixture of condos and rentals, the Durst Organization’s 786,355 square foot tower will feature residential amenities and retail space on its third floor. The tower’s architect will be Michael Arad, an Israeli-American member of Handel Architects whose past work includes a design for the National September 11 memorial at the site of the World Trade Center.
In a December 2016 statement, the Durst Organization said the site’s development was contingent on New York State’s 421-a program, which, according to DNA Info, offered developers tax breaks for creating affordable housing. Following the approval of an updated version of the program, development at the site was allowed to move forward thanks to the tax break it offered. DNA Info cited Durst spokesman Jordan Barowitz, who confirmed that the tax break provided by the 421-a program would allow up to 25 percent of the 763 apartments in the tower to be set aside as affordable.
In a statement, Hakim described the Durst Organization as “a good developer that can take better advantage of the site,” according to The Real Deal, adding that “it was too big for us.” Sources cited by the Real Deal said Durst rejected a proposal by Hakim and Property Markets for a joint venture, instead opting to go solo.
Durst has set its sights on another ambitious project with the development of a 63-story tower near Queens Plaza’s Clock Tower building