Durst Fam­ily to Build Sky­scraper Near Land­mark Clock Tower in Queens

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By: Asher Sch­lesinger

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

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