Dursts look to sell major East Harlem dev site

485x boosts project potential at 1800 Park Avenue

Durst Puts 1800 Park Avenue Up For Sale

From left: Jody Durst, Douglas Durst along with a rendering of 1800 Park Avenue (Getty, Durst Organization, ODA New York)

The Dursts are looking to sell their large development site in East Harlem after the state hammered out a replacement for 421a.

The Durst Organization put its property at 1800 Park Avenue up for sale, a spokesperson for the company confirmed to The Real Deal. It wasn’t clear what price the company is targeting, but with nearly 700,000 square feet of buildable floor area available, a deal could easily reach into nine figures.

“The Durst Organization is exploring the sale of this valuable asset which is ideally located at the mass transit hub of 125th Street and Park Avenue,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “The property is primed for development with up to 682,317 ZFA depending on use.”

The Dursts have owned the property since 2016 when they bought it from Bruce Eichner for $91 million, and have attempted to develop it themselves. Those plans were delayed, though, as the company wrestled with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority over easements at the site needed for the Second Avenue subway. The two sides reached a settlement last fall.

Another factor delaying progress was the roughly two-year absence of tax incentive after the 421a program expired in 2022. Earlier this year the state put in place a replacement program, 485x.

“Without a doubt the city needs rational tax abatement programs to make rental development work,” said Bob Knakal of BKREA, who has the listing. “We have only been in the market a short period of time and already have a tremendous amount of interest in the site.”

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In exchange for a tax abatement up to 40 years, 485x requires developers to agree to wage requirements, the highest of which are in designated zones in Manhattan south of 96th Street and popular parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

The Durst site is outside of those zones, and therefore exempt from the highest wage requirements.

Durst’s spokesperson said the company is focused on its existing portfolio, including building the second phase of its Halletts Point project in Queens.

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The large lot at 1800 Park Avenue has long sat vacant as different developers tried their hand at it. 

Vornado Realty Trust acquired the property in the early 2000s and planned to build an office tower. Eichner bought it in 2013 for $66 million and drew up plans to build a pair of 32-story towers with 673 units.

The developer defaulted on his debt, which Durst scooped up and then moved to foreclose on before the two sides hammered out a deal on a sale.

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