Durst taps EB-5 program to finance Astoria waterfront building

Majority of the Hallets Point development was shelved after expiration of 421a

New York /
Jul.July 29, 2016 05:20 PM

Life, liberty and the pursuit of capital.

The Durst Organization is looking to raise a quarter of the funds for a residential building at its Hallets Point project from immigrants looking for green cards.

The developer is seeking to raise $100 million through the EB-5 program for Building 1 of the Astoria waterfront development, a Durst TRData LogoTINY spokesperson confirmed. EB-5 is a federal program that gives investors willing to plow at least $500,000 into job-creating projects in the U.S. a path to citizenship.

The building is slated to cost a total of $400 million. It is part of Hallets Point, which was initially slated to comprise 2,000 residential units across several buildings. But those plans were shelved after the expiration of the 421a tax abatement, with the developer maintaining it would not be financially viable to build the housing without the abatement.

The only building now certain to rise at the site is Building 1, which will hold 405 units, about a fifth of them affordable, plus a supermarket. It’s scheduled to open in 2018 and construction is already underway.

It’s not the first time Durst has tapped the EB-5 program, which is dominated by Chinese investors, for cash. The company also used EB-5 money to help finance the development of 625 West 57th Street, a Bjarke Ingels-designed rental building in Midtown West.

The EB-5 program, which is up for renewal in September, is controversial, with critics saying the money more often goes to fund glitzy high-rises for the 1 percent than to projects in the struggling communities the program was designed to reinvigorate.

Jordan Barowitz, director of external affairs at Durst, was keen to emphasize that this project was located in a low-employment area.

“We’re using EB-5 to create jobs and build affordable housing housing in a neighborhood that has historic and persistent poverty,” he said.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Skyline Robotics' Michael Brown and Durst's Douglas Durst with Skyline’s Ozmo robot (Skyline Robotics, the Durst Organization, Getty)
Durst invests in robotic window washer
Durst invests in robotic window washer
New York City Council member Tiffany Cabán along with a rendering of the Hallets North development (Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal with Getty Images, Studio V Architecture PLLC)
Far-left Council member approves 1,400-unit Queens development
Far-left Council member approves 1,400-unit Queens development
Colin Behring (Getty Images, Behring Companies)
EB-5 groups settle lawsuits, allow program to permanently restart
EB-5 groups settle lawsuits, allow program to permanently restart
Durst Organization chairman Douglas Durst with 151 West 42nd Street in Manhattan, NYC (Loopnet, Durst.org)
Durst signs trading firm to full floor at One Five One
Durst signs trading firm to full floor at One Five One
Yitzchak Tessler with 390 Concord Ave , Judge, Lawsuit
Judge rules Tessler must pay back EB-5 lenders on Bronx project
Judge rules Tessler must pay back EB-5 lenders on Bronx project
From left: Developer Bruce Teitelbaum and Durst Organization CEO Douglas Durst and 44-02 Vernon Boulevard (Getty Images, LoopNet, iStock)
“A tremendous ordeal”: Lawyers in $97M Durst buyout slam case
“A tremendous ordeal”: Lawyers in $97M Durst buyout slam case
Parkview’s Paul Rahimian and 1800 Avenue at Port Imperial (Parkview Financial, Handel Architects, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
Chinese developer Hongkun faces foreclosure on luxury NJ condo
Chinese developer Hongkun faces foreclosure on luxury NJ condo
Durst's Douglas Durst and 44-02 Vernon Boulevard (The Durst Organization, Google Maps)
Investors in huge LIC project buy out Durst for $97M
Investors in huge LIC project buy out Durst for $97M
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...