Durst Debuts in Philly with Waterfront Purchase

The century-old company has expanded beyond New York with the acquisition of Philadelphia's Piers at Penn’s Landing.

Philadelphia—The Durst Organization isn’t afraid of change. The century-old commercial and multifamily owner and developer recently expanded its footprint beyond New York for the very first time with the acquisition of the Philadelphia Piers at Penn’s Landing, a segment of the Philadelphia waterfront, from Brandywine Realty Trust.

Alexander Durst
Alexander Durst, CDO, The Durst Organization

The purchase encompasses Piers 12, 13-15, 19 and 24–an area that is home to a Dave & Busters, a Hibachi Japanese Steakhouse, a Morgan’s Pier Beer Garden, as well as a DLC Management Parking Facility and the Philadelphia Marine Center marina. “Philadelphia appeals to us because it shares many of the fundamentals of the New York market: a lively arts and restaurant scene, great higher education institutions, and a dense and walkable downtown,” Alexander Durst, chief development officer of The Durst Organization, told Commercial Property Executive. “We also like the proximity to New York City and the ease of the commute.”

The Penn’s Landing property is quite a catch, particularly given the timing. The transaction comes on the heels of Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney’s proposal to allocate $90 million in capital over a six-year period to finance the transformation of Penn’s Landing by reconnecting it to the city’s core. Meanwhile, the Durst Organization isn’t offering details on plans for its new Philadelphia property, except for its intention to keep the asset in its portfolio as a long-term hold.

The City of Brotherly Love, and next, who knows. Owner of such premier Manhattan office assets as One World Trade Center and developer of premier projects like the triple-threat 57 West block of mixed-use residential towers, The Durst Organization is practically synonymous with New York; however, the company’s commitment to the city hasn’t blinded it from certain realities of the day. “As the economics of building rental housing in Manhattan’s core has become nearly impossible, we have begun looking in new markets,” Durst noted.

Image courtesy of The Durst Organization