Durst eyes $800M for luxury Sven building in rare sale

Family explores sale of 958-unit LIC rental

Durst Organization Considers $650 Million Sale of Sven Building
From left: Douglas Durst and Jody Durst along with a rendering of 29-59 Northern Boulevard in Long Island City (Getty, The Durst Organization, LinkedIn)

The Dursts are looking to sell their massive Sven luxury rental building in Long Island City, which would be a rare sale for the real estate family.

The Durst Organization is eyeing a price tag of around $800 million for the 958-unit building at 29-59 Northern Boulevard, which the company completed in 2022, The Real Deal has learned. 

The Dursts are open to selling the entire building outright or selling a partial stake in a recapitalization.

A spokesperson for Durst said the company is “exploring capitalization opportunities in light of the undesirable rates and terms that exist today,” adding that the property is performing exceptionally well. 

A Newmark team led by Adam Spies and Doug Harmon is marketing the property.

If a deal were to go through, it would be exceptional — both for the Dursts and for the multifamily market. The Dursts are known for developing and holding onto their properties, rarely selling. The company did put a portfolio of rental properties it owns with a partner in the Seaport District up for sale earlier last year, but it appears they never sold.

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As for the multifamily market, big-ticket sales have been few and far between since the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates. New York City recorded just nine multifamily deals above $100 million last year — the lowest since 2010, according to Ariel Property Advisors. Multifamily sales totaled $7 billion in 2023, down 52 percent from the previous year and the second-lowest annual total in the past decade behind 2020 when the city went into shut-down.

Durst got involved in the Sven project in 2016, when it paid $175 million to buy what was known as the Clock Tower development site — named so for the landmarked former home of the Bank of Manhattan, which was completed in 1927.

The curved facade of the 71-story Sven building wraps around the clock tower. The Sven is the second-tallest building in Queens behind Chris Xu’s Skyline Tower condo building.

Seventy percent of the Sven’s units are market-rate and the building has a 35-year tax abatement under the Affordable New York 421a program, which expired in 2022. Development of new multifamily buildings has all but ground to a halt since the end of the program, with just a handful of legacy projects qualifying to move forward.

Recent market-rate rents at the Sven average about $84 per square foot, according to market materials, which is on par with Class A buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn.