Douglas Durst

Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Policy

Rendering via Pier55, Inc

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer appointed Douglas Durst on Friday to the board of the Hudson River Park Trust, a group he has frequently criticized over their proposed Pier55 project. Durst admitted last year to funding a lawsuit to stop the trust’s plan for an off-shore park on the Hudson River. While billionaire businessman Barry Diller, who is funding the $250 million project, halted construction in September, the plan was restored a month later, with pressure and financial help from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Brewer told Crain’s that Durst didn’t volunteer, she asked him to join the board. “I think he loves the park,” she said.

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Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

BARRY DILLER, DOUGLAS DURST, GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, HUDSON RIVER PARK TRUST, PIER 55

Photo: Pier 55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio.

In September, 6sqft reported that billionaire IAC Chairman Barry Diller was giving up on the $250 million project that promised to bring a futuristic offshore park and cultural destination to the Hudson River’s dilapidated Pier 54. Since its beginnings in 2014, the seemingly ill-fated project, known as Pier 55 (or sometimes “Diller Park”), was beleaguered by opposing factions–eventually revealed to be funded by prominent New York real estate developer Douglas Durst–that blocked its progress at every turn. Diller, who had imagined the project as a new Manhattan waterfront icon to rival the nearby High Line, had had enough. In a cautiously optimistic turnaround, it was announced Wednesday that the media mogul–now backed by his recent legal foes and Durst in addition to Governor Andrew Cuomo–was renewing his commitment to move ahead with the project, according to Crain’s. Diller said in a statement, “I have had countless people tell me how much they were looking forward to having this new pier, and how unfortunate were the circumstances of its cancellation.”

So what happened?

Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

Barry Diller pulls the plug on $250M Pier 55 offshore park

By Michelle Cohen, Thu, September 14, 2017

Photo: Pier 55, Inc./Heatherwick Studio.

Barry Diller, the billionaire chairman of IAC, announced he’s killing the $250 million project that promised to bring a futuristic offshore park and cultural site to the Hudson River’s dilapidated Pier 54. 6sqft previously covered the unfolding saga of the ill-fated project, known as Pier 55 (or sometimes as “Diller Park”), as opposing factions continually blocked its progress and were eventually revealed to be funded by prominent New York real estate developer Douglas Durst. According to the New York Times, Diller said Wednesday that his commitment to build the undulating pier would be coming to an end—an inglorious one for a bold plan that some, and certainly Diller himself, saw as a new Manhattan waterfront icon to rival the nearby High Line.

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condos, Long Island City, New Developments, Queens, Rentals

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.

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Financial District

one world trade center, lower manhattan, skidmore ownings and merrill

Last week, 6sqft reported that the Port Authority would sell One World Trade Center for up to $5 billion due in part to vacancy issues and the fact that the tower only brought in $13 million in revenue last year, a mere 0.35 percent return on the agency’s investment. But Authority chairman John Degnan said yesterday to Politico that “It’s certainly not on the block. We’re not talking to any brokers about it.” This doesn’t however, mean that the agency has changed its stance that it will one day “divest and monetize in non-transportation-related holdings.”

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Landscape Architecture, Meatpacking District, Policy, Urban Design

Pier 55, Hudson River Park Trust, Barry Diller

Once again in the news is media mogul Barry Diller’s futuristic offshore cultural pier development at Pier 55 on the Hudson River. The proposed park project, known informally as Diller Park after its main backer, who is chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp and is married to fashion designer Diane Von Furstenburg, is helmed by the Hudson River Park Trust.

The New York Times reports that the project’s main opponent, a civic group called The City Club of New York, may have an equally powerful backer. According to Diller, there is a deep-pocketed “hidden hand” funding the legal actions against the park. In a recent interview, Diller said, “The backer of all this is one Douglas Durst.”

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Celebrities, People

Robert Durst, Douglas Durst, Jinx, HBO, Durst Family, Andrew Jirecki

Photo: HBO

“The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” the six-part HBO documentary series about the black-sheep older brother of commercial developer Douglas Durst of the multibillion dollar Durst Organization (developers of One World Trade Center), premiered on February 8th.

Andrew Jirecki, the director of the series, has a long-held fascination with the program’s subject, first directing a feature film, “All Good Things,” in 2010, starring Ryan Gosling in the Durst role. Robert Durst sat for over 20 hours of interviews with the filmmaker–the basis of the controversial series, the draw of which is that it “stars” Robert Durst (now 71) as himself.

more on the series here

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