The U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed suit against The Durst Organization, the second major New York developer to come within the cross hairs of the federal government in a dispute over what does and should constitute accessible housing. The federal government alleges that Durst “has engaged in a pattern and practice of developing rental apartment buildings that are inaccessible to persons with disabilities.” Also named in the suit are The Helena Associates and FXFOWLE Architects, who designed the Helena, a 595-unit rental building in Hell’s Kitchen that is at the center of the lawsuit.
The Big East Conference is betting on the Big Apple to help usher in a new era.
The reconfigured conference has chosen The Durst Organization’s 655 Third Avenue in Midtown as its official headquarters after cutting a 10-year, 13,742-square-foot lease across the seventh floor of the 30-story property.
The Durst Organization is reportedly looking for a successor to replace a top security official who resigned following a series of incidents that exposed seemingly gaping holes in security at 1 World Trade Center.
David Velazquez, assistant security director at the site, will not leave the firm until The Durst Organization has found a replacement.
Year in Real Estate
Country Bank has signed a new 10-year retail lease for 2,100 square feet at the The Durst Organization‘s 655 Third Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.
The tenant will relocate from its current retail branch at 902 Second Avenue. The bank has occupied its nearly 15,000-square-foot corporate office space and New York headquarters upstairs at 655 for 15 years Read More
When construction workers hoisted the final crown atop 1 World Trade Center back in May, it reached its symbolic 1,776 feet. Flags
waved, onlookers cheered, and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey proclaimed it the “tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.”
But great controversy regarding whether the tower would in fact dethrone Chicago’s Willis Tower ensued. The looming question: antennae or spire? The latter would solidify the accolade the Port Authority already touted, but the former would not. Last month, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat official ruled that a spire—not an antennae—sits atop the 104-story tower.
After the jump, a step-by-step guide to measuring a tall building and some key factors that played into the ruling at 1 WTC, as told to The Commercial Observer’s Al Barbarino by officials with the Council on Tall Buildings.
For the first time since construction workers topped off 1 World Trade Center in May, the Durst Organization this morning unveiled a crisp, white-walled model office space that tenants could be replicating as early as next year. Replete with floor-to-ceiling windows and unobstructed views of the city, office spaces below the 64th floor will command $75 per square foot.
“This is the beginning of a big year for us as we begin our transformation from a construction site to an office building,” said Jordan Barowitz, director of external affairs for Durst, before introducing the project’s director of leasing, Eric Engelhardt.
“What we’ve done here is taken the first and biggest step in being able to showcase what the office space can look like for tenants,” Mr. Engelhardt added.
2013 Owners Magazine
A denial from the New York Times’ op-ed department didn’t stop British graffiti artist Banksy from lashing out against One World Trade Center on his website instead, calling it the “biggest eyesore in New York.”
The root cause of the artist’s beef with the gleaming new tower was not clear, but his scorn seemed to Read More
When The Commercial Observer first set out to survey New York City’s most venerable commercial real estate owners in our inaugural Owners Inquisition last year, the old guard at some of Manhattan’s largest public relations firms pushed back, presuming their clients might wilt in the face of questions about their personal role models, biggest fears and Read More
Earlier this week, The Commercial Observer reported on an article that appeared in New Republic, which questioned the energy efficiency of the Bank of America Tower, also known as 1 Bryant Park.
In an email sent to The Commercial Observer yesterday, Douglas Durst, chairman of The Durst Organization, acknowledged there Read More
On the Market
About 200 retail real estate specialists gathered at 101 Park Avenue’s 101 Club last Tuesday for the Real Estate Board of New York’s 15th annual Retail Deal of the Year Awards cocktail party.
Brokers flocked to a bountiful buffet and an open bar with generous pours. In a lonely corner, an ignored PowerPoint presentation summarized the nominees. Here’s what went down as the assembled waited to hear which of the nine submitted transactions would take home the evening’s two big honors.
The Durst Organization is marketing four vacant retail spaces at its Historic Front Street property at Downtown’s South Street Seaport, which will be rebuilt in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The retail spaces were gutted after floods over seven feet high ravaged the spaces during the storm, according to Read More
From a Taconic Investment Partners project in Hunts Point to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, power in New York real estate circles has increasingly expanded from the comfortable confines of Midtown Manhattan to the fringes of all five boroughs. While large developments such as the Related Company’s Hudson Yards often dominate the conversation, Brooklyn, Queens and even the Bronx continue to grow in stature.
Long Island City is fast becoming a focal point for the real estate industry as Rockrose and other residential developers tap into the growing Queens neighborhood. In the Bronx, Taconic Investment Partners, formerly the owners of 111 Eighth Avenue, is in the process of a significant capital improvement plan at the BankNote Building on Lafayette Avenue in Hunt’s Point.
Below, a sampling of where power thrives in New York City in 2013.
Everybody Go Downtown
Robert Becker, senior leasing manager at The Durst Organization, joined the company eight months ago. Having previously worked closely with the firm as an executive with Bank of America’s global real estate transactions and leasing operations team, Mr. Becker jumped on board with inside knowledge of the firm’s pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Read More
After the storm, things are looking brighter for the lower Manhattan real estate market.
Even with construction scaffolds clogging the district’s narrow streets in a reminder of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, Downtown office leasing activity jumped 73 percent in the first two months of the year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.
When terrorists detonated a monster bomb in the underground parking garage at the World Trade Center’s North Tower on February 26, 1993, it shook the city with seismic strength.
Six people died and 1,042 were injured in the bombing. But it came before the widespread understanding, blunt as it was, that terrorists wanted to kill Read More