The Cousins Durst

Jody Durst: There are two components. One is a dormitory and one is an academic facility. The academic facility is about 220,000 square feet, and the dorm is somewhere around 110 or 120,000 square feet. And that sits on top of the academic facility.

Douglas Durst: We’re also working again with [former Esquire owner] Chris Whittle on a school midblock on 57th Street. I think the entity is called Avenues.

Tell me about the environmentally friendly amenities you have at buildings like the Helena and 4 Times Square. Are they financially sound decisions?
Jody Durst: Some components of each building were done as sort of a demonstration in order to make the technology more viable. For example, incorporating the photovoltaic and the curtain wall of the building at 4 Times Square was a demonstration of the use of photovoltaic, not only on a building, but also to replace a portion of the curtain wall so that you’re saving the cost of the curtain wall and getting the benefit of the energy production of the photovoltaic. But we’ve come to realize that the energy requirements at a high-rise building are so dense compared to what a photovoltaic can provide. It’s really a demonstration that the technology works, but it’s not necessarily the right application for it.

Jody, do you share Douglas’ views on the environment?
Jody Durst: I don’t have any water running at my house.

Douglas Durst: That’s a joke, but the fact that you don’t have any air-conditioning is something. When Jody first moved here from California his house was never heated more than 66 degrees. His wife convinced him that maybe they could turn it up a little bit.

Are you wearing your green socks, Douglas?
Douglas Durst: Always.

And you, Jody?
Jody Durst: No.
 
Douglas Durst: That’s where we differ. I mean, how do you prove to people you’re an environmentalist, Jody?

Jody Durst: I tell them about my room temperature.

jsederstrom@observer.com