Durst Organization pays $173.5M for LIC site once slated for tallest tower in Queens

December 16, 2016

Back in 2015, Property Markets Group and the Hakim Organization announced plans to erect the tallest tower outside of Manhattan in Long Island City at 29-37 41st Avenue. The residential building, then dubbed Queens Plaza Park, would rise 914 feet atop a Queens Plaza site and boast high-end condos and a projected $363.2 million sellout. However, in July 2016, the developers abandoned those plans, putting the site up for sale for an undisclosed amount. Now, as the Times reports, the Durst Organization has scooped up the site for $173.5 million and is considering going forward with the massive construction, but as a rental tower with more than 1 million square feet.

29-37 41ST AVENUE LIC QUEENSThe construction site which abuts the Queens clock tower building

Kevin Maloney and Kamran Hakim, the original developers, told the Times that they “didn’t have the horsepower to get it done.” The pair spent several years assembling the site, ultimately paying out $113 million; $46.3 million of which was for the location of the proposed tower alone. All in all the project would have cost $750 million to complete.

The Times is quick to point out that high construction costs, difficulties acquiring financing, and the city’s ever-increasing inventory of luxury units are making it difficult for developers to push projects through. Likewise, the uncertainty swirling around the fate of the 421-a housing program has quieted new residential development as well.

But this downturn doesn’t appear to be holding the Durst Organization back. The Queens Plaza tower is the fourth abandoned project the company has snagged in recent years.

“Acquiring distressed sites allows us to build rentals and make the long-term investments that have served us well for more than 100 years,” said head honcho Douglas Durst to the Times.

[Via The New York Times]


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