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Rendering of Queens Plaza Park courtesy of Durst Organization via SkyscraperPage Rendering of Queens Plaza Park courtesy of Durst Organization via SkyscraperPage
Last November, we reported that construction had quietly begun on the Durst Organization’s 70-story mega-tower to rise at 29-37 41st Avenue (aka 29-55 Northern Boulevard) in Long Island City. Now it appears plans for the 958-unit, 978,000-square-foot project have been approved, and the Durst Organization has debuted a page of the project (uncovered by a SkyscraperPage sleuther) giving our first official rendering of the behemoth. Additionally, the city's buildings department has published the ZD1 diagram showing us the project’s configuration and massing, from which we can create these nifty Google Earth models.
The experienced developer, who built the Bank of America and helped finished One WTC without its deserved spire design, has grown fond of the city’s largest borough in recent years, skipping over popular Brooklyn to develop the multi-towered Halletts Point scheme in Astoria.
(Durst Organization)
29-55-Northern-Boulevard Building massing of the approved 751-foot-tall 29-55 Northern Boulevard (CityRealty)
29-55 Northern Boulevard Zoning diagram showing massing of 29-55 Northern Boulevard (via NYC DOB)
NYC DOB Site Plan via NYC DOB
Named Queens Plaza Park by the site’s prior developers: Property Markets Group and the Hakim Organization, Durst snapped up the lot in late 2016 for around $175 million, according to Crain’s New York. The paper notes the project has been able to grow to this scale due to inheriting 475,000 square feet of development rights purchased from the MTA, and the absence of height limits for the site.
Durst’s 63-story behemoth will rise from a trapezoidal lot that wraps around the 90-year-old Manhattan Bank Building, that is also warmly known as the Clock Tower. Handel Architects are listed as the designers and diagrams show the building will be distinguished by opposing concave faces that roughly span 200-feet in width. The building will be wrapped in glass, but we hope the concave shape won’t be melting any cars a la Vinoly’s “Walkie Talkie” building in London.
29-55 Northern Boulevard Axonometric diagram and view of the site as of late February (CityRealty)
Queens Plaza Park (CityRealty)
Permits filed in June pegs the tower’s height at 710 feet to the top of its highest occupiable floor and the diagram shows a parapet height of 751 feet – about the height of Time Warner Center in Manhattan. While a good deal shorter than PMG’s original plans, the tower will either be the first or second tallest in Queens depending on if it finishes before Court Square City View Tower, which is under construction several blocks to the southwest. Both buildings will best the boroughs long-time tallest, the Citigroup Building, which stands 673 feet tall, according to the Skyscraper Center.
Durst's page on the projects says there will be 958 rentals including 300 affordable housing units. The apartments will span from floors 5 to 61, and there will be between 11 and 15 apartments per floor. There will be much-needed retail below and plenty of panoramic views to savor above. Amenities are to be designed by Selldorf Architects and include an outdoor pool, a 20,000-square-foot retail gym, a resident library, co-working areas, a kids' playroom and a demonstration kitchen. The building is also being designed to reach LEEDv4 certification.
29-55 Northern Boulevard (CityRealty)
A recent visit to the site shows that the arduous excavation process is in full swing. A myriad of towers have taken shape around the property including the Handel-designed rental Aurora, Tishman Speyer’s Jackson Park and the soon-to-open Atla LIC. Sadly, the neighborhood’s lack of charming historic buildings may present a cold, austere future for the Queens Plaza district. But as we wait for this construction boomtown to coalesce, we’ll just be thankful that the now-landmarked Clock Tower is being saved and restored.
Durst Tower (CityRealty)
Queens TOwer (CityRealty)
From the northwest (CityRealty)

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New Developments Editor Ondel Hylton Ondel is a lifelong New Yorker and comprehensive assessor of the city's dynamic urban landscape.