2017-07-12 / Front Page

Durst Files Plans For 63-Story Building Next To LIC Clock Tower

By Liz Goff
The Durst Organization has filed plans to develop a 63-story tower in a lot next door to the landmarked Clock Tower Building at Queens Plaza in Long Island City.

The new tower will feature 763 residential units and a public park, plans show. The Durst Organization acquired the parcel from Property Markets Group in December 2016 for $173.5 million., contingent on the renewal of the New York State 421-a tax program that offers tax breaks to developers in exchange for the creation of affordable housing.
State lawmakers approved a new version of the program in spring 2017. Under the program, developers will set aside at least 28 per cent of the Durst tower’s 763 apartments as affordable housing.
An item on the Real Deal website in December said developer Kevin Maloney, of Property Markets Group, indicated that an acquisition note on the clock tower project was coming due, so he felt it was time to sell the property.
The new, 63-story Super Tower will rise 710-feet from ground level and will feature 8,702-square-feet of retail space, according to the plans.
The Durst Organization is not planning any changes to the Clock Tower building, which was awarded landmark status by the city in 2015, a spokesperson for the Durst Organization said.
“This is an extraordinary site with spectacular views and outstanding mass transit connectivity,” Durst Organization president Jonathan Durst said in a prepared statement. “This project provides us with the opportunity to build much needed market-rate and affordable housing, and to make the long-term investments in New York City that have been the bedrock of The Durst Organization’s success for more than 100 years.”
The Super Tower planned by Property Markets and the Hakim Organization was set to soar 77-stories, 915-feet over the surrounding community, thanks to an agreement the developers reached with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) for air rights over a parcel of land near 29-37 41st Avenue in Long Island City. The agreement provided as-of-right construction of what was to be Queens tallest tower.
Property Markets Group acquired the Manhattan Bank Building and the Clock Tower in November 2014 for more than $30 million and notified tenants weeks later that their leases would be terminated as of May 31, 2015. The notices also alerted tenants of the developers’ intention to demolish a portion of the Clock Tower building, sending preservationists running to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) seeking the panel’s approval of landmark status for the clock tower.
The Durst Organization has not released a timeline for completion of the project, which will also include renovation of a nearby MTA subway station.

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