When Douglas Durst announced his plans to step down as co-president of the Durst Organization in 2009, most observers predicted the real estate scion would not stay idle for long. They were right. The Durst Organization now stretches into its fourth generation. And while cousins Douglas and Jody Durst are perhaps less hungry for attention than their father and uncle, the legendary Seymour Durst (one of Durst père’s best-known stunts remains relevant and is a Manhattan fixture: the “National Debt Clock” on one of his buildings near Times Square), they’re just as ravenous when it comes to swallowing deals.
Environmental champions and Manhattan real estate kingpins, Douglas and Jody control an empire of commercial and residential real estate that is rapidly reshaping the New York skyline. High-profile Durst holdings include the fabulously successful new 1 Bryant Park, 4 Times Square and the instantly iconic 1 World Trade Center. Their emphasis on development during a recession helped revitalize Times Square, and over the years, their flexible, forward-thinking approach, along with their willingness to collaborate and engage in creative partnerships, has made them two of the most successful developers in New York’s history.
The Dursts have been trailblazers in the industry for their company’s progressive stance on environmentally friendly building practices. Their practice of generating their own electricity is blazing the way for a new generation of sustainable development, with 4 Times Square considered the country’s first green skyscraper and 1 Bryant Park becoming the first office building in the city to be certified as LEED Platinum. We can thank the Durst Organization for inspiring the city’s green building revolution, and for envisioning a bold and beautiful future for generations of Manhattanites to come. And their reach is growing. Durst Fetner Residential won approval from the City Council for its forward-thinking, visually stunning, 32-story, 750-apartment project on West 57th Street, lovingly described as the Pyramid building for its Bjarke Ingels design. It’s a project that will transform an under-invested neighborhood. Meanwhile, the Dursts continue to lend a civic hand, with Douglas serving as chairman of the Friends of Hudson River Park—that is, until last month, when he stepped down a few weeks after presenting an ambitious plan to resuscitate Pier 40, the ailing, 15-acre pier along the Hudson River.