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.
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.”
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.”
“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.