In a recent article in The Times, developer Douglas Durst complained that too many of New York’s fallen developers—the Macklowes and Eichners and Glucks of the world—were getting off too easy from the bursting of the real estate bubble, as they recapitalized and returned to the work of building. “That has not given us any advantage as we go through each financial cycle in which the bankers who made bad loans are let go, but the defaulting borrowers are waiting for the new team of bankers to start the process over again,” Durst said.
Yet it seems Durst has little to complain about himself. The Bank of America building is a resounding success, he has a new deal to help develop 1 World Trade Center, plans for a boffo apartment pyramid on the Hudson River, and now, The Journal reveals, “one of the first major private construction projects to move forward in the wake of the downturn.”
Durst is developing a 40-story apartment building, tentatively designed by Rafael Pelli, on Sixth Avenue and 30th Street. It is around the corner from the Epic, opened four years ago with his long-time partner on residential projects, Harold Fetner.
The Journal points out that, in addition to the Epic, the area has seen a boomlet that has transformed it from a wholesaling district into yet another swanky corner of the city. Short of the far West Side, where Durst is planning that pyramid by Dutch phenom Bjarke Engels, is there any corner of Manhattan that remains gritty and underdeveloped?
It hasn’t all been buoyant success, though, as Durst-Fetner came up short on their bid for the first phase of the Hunters Point South redevelopment, and there is that pesky movie, which at least nobody has seemed to see. The Journal, in a separate article, delves further into Douglas Durst’s public and private life.
Still, setting aside a few hiccups, Harold Fetner told The Journal, “Now the fun starts.” Actually, the party seems well under way.