The Real Deal New York

First responder group alleges Durst canceled 1 WTC event due to leasing concerns

"This is all about profits, greed and getting the building leased," Tunnel to Towers chair says

March 08, 2016 02:15PM

From left: 1 World Trade Center and Douglas Durst

From left: 1 World Trade Center and Douglas Durst

UPDATED, 4:23 p.m., March 9: The Durst Organization canceled a first responder organization’s charity “stair climb” at One World Trade Center — and the organizer claims it’s because the developer feared it would detract tenants from signing leases there.

“This is all about profits, greed and getting the building leased,’’ said John Hodge, chairman of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

Tunnel to Towers’ annual stair climb seeks to raise funds to build homes for war veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, the New York Post reported.

Hodge told the newspaper that Durst reluctantly participated last year, and for this year’s event, the landlord required approval from tenant One World Observatory, which it provided.

But a Durst spokesperson told The Real Deal that the event had not been agreed upon for this year, and therefore, it wasn’t canceled.

Hodge told Politico the landlord nixed the climb because it will affect “their ability to lease the remaining space in the building.”

The Durst spokesperson told the Post “the unique design and security requirement of One World Trade Center make stair-climbs extraordinarily challenging.”

“With more tenants,” the spokesperson, Jordan Barowitz, continued, “the logistics are even more complex this year. We share Mr. Hodge’s passion for his cause, have supported Tunnels to Towers in the past and have offered future support.”

Durst donated $25,000 to Tunnel to Towers, and more than $1 million to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, Politico reported.

On Sunday, the second annual New York City Firefighter Stair Climb will take place at 4 World Trade Center. The event honors the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11, according to a press release. [NYP and Politico]Dusica Sue Malesevic

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