The Real Deal New York

Durst, Fetner split ways

Partnership managed thousands of rentals and was developing Bjarke Ingels-designed Far West Side "pyramid"

January 21, 2015 08:00AM
By Rich Bockmann

durst fetner2

From left: Douglas Durst, a rendering of 625 West 57th Street (Credit: BIG) and Hal Fetner

Until late last year, real estate enthusiasts walking by one of the Far West Side’s most distinctive projects — the Bjarke Ingels-designed “pyramid” at West 57th Street – would likely have spotted the logo of developer Durst Fetner Residential, the joint venture between the Durst Organization and Sidney Fetner Associates that was spearheading the project.

Now, however, that logo is out of commission. Durst and Fetner have gone their separate ways, putting an end to a marriage that began in 2007 with a decision to jointly manage a large rental portfolio and develop major residential projects.

Hal Fetner, the erstwhile CEO of the Durst Fetner partnership, told The Real Deal that the two parties amicably parted ways effective Jan. 1. Jordan Barowitz, a spokesperson for Durst, also confirmed the news.

“They were developing together and managing a portfolio of aggregated assets,” Barowitz said. “Now, both organizations have met a critical mass in terms of the number of rental units so that it makes it more efficient to disaggregate the portfolio and manage the units on our own.”

Durst, which controls a multimillion-square-foot commercial and residential portfolio that generates nearly $300 million in annual income (according to TRD‘s last count in October 2013), will continue to develop the two major projects Durst Fetner had in the pipeline: West 57th Street, a tetrahedron-shaped 709-unit rental building designed by Danish architect Ingels, and 855 Sixth Avenue, a 570,000-square-foot, mixed-use building at West 30th Street.

Hal Fetner said that his new firm, Fetner Properties, has set up shop in the East 40s. The firm will retain an interest in 855 Sixth but has walked away from West 57th Street. It’s also developing a project in Brooklyn, he said, but declined to comment further.

Fetner’s father, Sidney, began developing properties in the 1960s and built a portfolio of rentals that includes the 208-unit Chesapeake on the Upper East Side and the 421-unit Victory in Hell’s Kitchen. Durst’s residential properties include the 598-unit Helena in Hell’s Kitchen and a collection of 95 units on Front Street at the South Street Seaport.

The first property to arrive under the Durst Fetner banner was the 400-unit Epic on 31st Street near Herald Square, which Fetner had begun developing in 2005 and retains management of after the split.

Correction: Durst’s Front Street apartments are in Manhattan, not Brooklyn. A previous version of this post misstated this fact.

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