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Durst Organization acquires final parcel to begin Hallets Point project

Artwork courtesy Studio V Architecture

The Hallets Point megaproject is set to begin construction now that the Durst Organization has acquired the final piece of the real estate puzzle. The developer paid an investor $15 million, for the land at 1-02 26th Ave. in Astoria, and will go forward with the 2.5 million-square-foot residential and retail development.

“We were very pleased we could close on the final parcel,” Durst Organization spokesman Jordan Barowitz said. “We look forward to breaking ground in the fall.”

The Durst Organization, the developer of 1 World Trade, bought out Lincoln Equities in October 2104 when it purchased three parcels on the East River waterfront for $130 million. Lincoln Equities had agreed to buy that final parcel from Deutsch’s Astoria Equities 2000 for $7.5 million, but when the Durst Organization took control the value doubled.

The $1.5 billion Hallets Point project will include 2,404 market-rate and affordable units, a new school, a supermarket and other retail, a public park and a waterfront esplanade. The project’s architect, Jay Valgora, who also designed the nearby 1,723-unit Astoria Cove development, is working on seven different projects that will help transform the city’s 528 miles of waterfront over the next 30 years.

“Our entire design proposal is a study in how to create new links and connections between an existing community and the waterfront,” Valgora said. “The East River is the conduit linking all boroughs and drawing people to the waterfont.”

A few miles south along the river, some of the winners of the Hunters Point South affordable housing lottery have started to receive notifications, according to the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

“The applications are still under review and the tenant selection process is underway,” an HPD spokesman said. “The first round of interview letters have been distributed in rounds and the process will continue until all units are filled.”

Hunters Point South contains 924 affordable apartments in two towers, one at 1-50 50th Ave., and the other at 1-55 Borden Ave. When the lottery closed Dec. 15, there were 92,700 applications, or roughly 100 applicants, for each unit that range in price from low-income studios starting at $495 a month to three-bedroom apartments for $2,729.

Tenants will begin moving into Hunters Point South this spring.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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