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Durst Family Buys Another Delaware Waterfront Plot, Plans Development

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Durst Family Buys Another Delaware Waterfront Plot, Plans Development
The parking lot at Vine Street and Christopher Columbus Boulevard, with the One Water Street apartment building in the background

A prominent New York developer is ramping up its activity in Philadelphia.

The Durst Organization is under contract to acquire a parcel of land currently occupied by a parking lot at the corner of Vine Street and Christopher Columbus Boulevard, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The parcel sits across the boulevard from a long stretch of land on the Delaware River waterfront that Durst acquired in early 2017.

The 1.6-acre lot was the Durst family's first purchase outside of New York, and at the time it was labeled a "long-term hold with significant potential" but no immediate plans for development. With this addition to its holdings, Hurst acknowledged to the Inquirer that a mixed-use project is in the works.

Though details such as size, price and asset class were not disclosed, Durst promised that the plan would include a healthy portion of public green space and the preservation of the Wood Street Staircase. That staircase, leading up from the west side of the property, is reportedly the last of 10 such structures commissioned by William Penn to increase access to the Delaware River.

The promotion and development of the waterfront is still a work in progress, one shepherded by the Delaware River Waterfront Corp., the current owner of the parking lot. The DRWC selected Durst after it requested developer proposals last year.

The stretch of waterfront Durst already owns has its southern border not far from the corner of Vine and Columbus, just north of DRWC's neighboring public spaces — Race Street Pier and Cherry Street Pier. It includes restaurant/bar spaces such as Dave & Buster's and Morgan's Pier, and is bounded on the north by the former concert venue Festival Pier. That parcel is at the beginnings of its own redevelopment process, according to the Inquirer.

Also at the corner of Vine and Columbus is One Water Street, PMC Property Group's apartment building that gained some notoriety for reneging on promises to include public art space and affordable housing units when it was completed in 2016.

CORRECTION, JAN. 23, 10:30 A.M. ET: A previous version of this article misstated the extent of The Durst Organization's holdings. This article has been updated.