The real estate investment group Durst Organization is under contract to acquire a 1.6-acre, publicly owned parking lot north of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, across Christopher Columbus Boulevard from an assemblage of piers it already owns.
Durst, one of New York’s most established real estate companies, was selected to develop the Vine Street Lot between Vine and Callowhill Streets by the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, which began fielding proposals for the site last year, Durst and the DRWC said in a release Tuesday.
“The Durst Organization and DRWC envision a vibrant new mixed-use development at the site that will build on recent public-sector investments that have made the Delaware River waterfront a regional attraction,” such as the public plaza at Race Street Pier and the Cherry Street Pier arts center, the two said.
The lot will be developed as part of Durst’s overall vision for the section of the waterfront that includes its holdings across the street, which comprise the sites of restaurants Dave & Buster’s and Morgan’s Pier and other properties, Durst spokesman Anthony Campisi said in an interview.
Durst also said in the release that its plan will set aside “a substantial portion of the parcel for public green space” and will honor the property’s history, which included a stint as a shipyard in the 17th and 18th centuries.
It vowed that the project would integrate the adjacent Wood Street Steps, a stone stairway between Water and Front Streets directly west of the Vine Street Lot. The steps are the only surviving example of 10 passageways to the waterfront commissioned by William Penn in the early 1700s to promote maritime commerce and transportation, according to a plaque at the site.
Campisi declined to share Durst’s purchase price for the Vine Street Lot before the closing of the transaction.