Major office developers look to residential

The Dursts, Brookfield and Tishman Speyer are all banking on the housing market
September 27, 2014 02:00PM

The Durst family made their fortune developing massive Manhattan office towers. But with the housing market seeing record prices, the Dursts are gambling on a sprawling residential development on the Queens waterfront. And they aren’t the only ones.

Other powerful office builders like Brookfield and Tishman Speyer Properties are also making residential plays in Queens, Brooklyn and even Roosevelt Isand, according to the New York Times.

The Durst project calls for seven apartment buildings with more than 2,000, an esplanade, a school and a supermarket on sites currently occupied by industrial buildings in Astoria.

“Times are changing,” Douglas Durst told the Times. “Large-scale office development opportunities are sparse and Manhattan land is cost-prohibitive to build rentals. It is time for the family to go deeper into residential and to cross the ocean to Astoria.”

And not far from the Durst site, Tishman is planning to build a rental complex with 1,600 apartments. In northern Manhattan and on Roosevelt Island, Brookfield is putting down $1 billion for nearly 4,000 apartments.

“The economic dynamics make it good to be in multifamily,” Richard Clark, chief executive of Brookfield Property Partners, said. [NYT]Christopher Cameron