The Real Deal New York

Durst, Fetner divided $740M worth of properties in split

Developers used “buy-sell” process to settle ownership
April 11, 2016 08:02AM

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

New York real estate can often be a contact sport, but sometime partnerships – and even their breakups – work out just fine.

Related Companies chairman Stephen Ross and Tishman Speyer boss Rob Speyer may nearly have come to blows a few weeks ago, but at the very same Real Estate Board of New York meeting, Douglas Durst and Harold Fetner – who’d just finished dividing $740 million in the breakup of their residential development partnership – chatted together amicably, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The two developers, heads of the Durst Organization and Fetner Properties respectively, used a creative negotiation framework, and reportedly relatively few lawyers, to divide their co-venture, Durst Fetner Residential.

“Everyone had to be reasonable,” Jody Durst told the Journal, “If not, that’s when things get ugly and attorneys get large fees.”

The Real Deal broke the news of the breakup back in January.

The firms’ partnership agreement called for a “buy-sell” process to divide properties, wherein one party offers a buyout price, and the other side can either accept, or buy out the other side at the same price.

The Durst Organization ultimately bought the Fetners out at 855 Sixth Avenue, while Fetner Properties bought the Dursts’ stake in 125 West 31st Street. The Fetners brought Rockpoint Group in as a partner on the property, known as the Epic.

Ross and Speyer, of course, made up as well, reportedly hugging it out after the meeting. [WSJ] – Ariel Stulberg