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Citizens Union Leadership Award to be presented to Durst family.

The Durst family has been chosen to receive the "Business Leadership Award" at the 1999 Annual Dinner for Citizens Union and the Citizens Union Foundation.

The dinner will be held December 8th at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and proceeds will benefit Citizens Union, a 102-year old civic membership group. David Durst, son of Joseph and brother of the late Seymour and Roy, will be accepting the award for the family.

"Without the Durst family we can hardly imagine the faces of Third Avenue, Sixth Avenue and the new Times Square," said Ogden N. Lewis, chairman of Citizens Union. "But the Dursts are thinkers and critics as well, with a wide range of interests. Luckily, those interests have included the history and civic well-being of this city. They constitute a remarkable and cherished clan."

Recognized as pioneers in the New York real estate industry, the Durst Organization was founded when Joseph Dust made his first real estate investment m New York City more than 80 years ago. The Dursts are credited with conceptualizing the modern office building. Their insight and foresight have helped transform the Grand Central vicinity into a center for the world's most notable corporations.

In 1915, The Durst Organization began investing in and managing office buildings as part of a prudent acquisitions program. After World War II, as existing office space in the Grand Central area was approaching full occupancy, Joseph Durst and his three sons, Seymour, Roy and David, initiated an astute assemblage strategy along Third Avenue.

In 1956, The Durst Organization undertook the construction of their own buildings, leading Third Avenue's dramatic transformation. From a neighborhood with mixed commercial and dilapidated tenement buildings in the shadow of antiquated elevated tracks, this East Side thoroughfare became one of Manhattan's primary executive office locations.

By the mid-1960's, the Dursts acquired sites in the prime Midtown area west of Grand Central. By the end of the decade, they had erected their first office tower on Avenue of the Americas, and established a leadership role in transforming this avenue into the corporate enclave it is today.

Today, the Durst Organization remains a family business, led by third generation Dursts - Douglas, Jody and Kristoffer. Holdings include nine buildings in the Grand Central-Times Square areas, covering more than six million square feet of office space.

"I am honored and filled with pride as a third generation member of the Durst Organization, and grateful for the leadership and foresight of my grandfather, Joseph, and his three sons, Seymour, Roy and David," said Douglas Durst, president. "This award strengthens our resolve to be exemplary corporate citizens."

The award's citation also praised "the younger generation's strong commitment to the protection of the environment and the improvement of our public places."

The Durst's largest and most recent project, the 48-story Conde Nast Building at 4 Times Square, is recognized as one of the nation's most environmentally and technologically advanced "green" buildings.

Also at the dinner, Global Vice President Judy Barker of Avon Products, Inc. will be receiving a "Civic Leadership Award." Barker is recognized for her contributions to schools and community groups and for an innovative employee-partnership program in the field of corporate philanthropy.

Citizens Union, the largest civic membership organization in New York City, is recognized for its Voters Directory, published before every special, primary and general election, evaluating candidates on interviews and strictly non-partisan criteria. Citizens Union Foundation engages in analysis and presentation of positions on issues affecting the city, from urban infrastructure such as land use and water supply, to governance such as charter revision and campaign finance reform.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 24, 1999
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