The Real Deal New York

Grand Central owner blasts One Vanderbilt

October 25, 2014 10:00AM

From left: Andrew Penson, Grand Central and 1 Vanderbilt rendering

From left: Andrew Penson, Grand Central and 1 Vanderbilt rendering

The owner of Grand Central Terminal is continuing his fight with SL Green and the city over the price of air rights in the forthcoming Midtown East rezoning plan.

In September, Andrew Penson, a real estate investor who runs Midtown Trackage Ventures, which bought Grand Central in 2006 for $80 million, made an offer to pay $400 million for the site of SL Green Realty Corp.’s planned One Vanderbilt office tower, saying he could build the complex cheaper. The developer dismissed the offer as a “publicity stunt,” but Penson’s point was to say that SL Green would be willing to pay more for Grand Central’s air rights.

The city is moving toward giving SL Green the zoning variance to build the 65-story structure regardless. In an interview with Crain’s New York Business, Penson explains that he isn’t done fighting.

“I understand this administration wants to show they’re somewhat business-friendly. But this goes over and above being friendly to business. This is corporate welfare to an enormous degree,” he said regarding Mayor Bill de Blasio administration’s support for SL Green’s One Vanderbilt proposal. [Crain’s] —TRD

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