The Real Deal New York

Mixed results for Manhattan air rights market in 2015: report

Average prices up for commercial developments, down for residential

February 24, 2016 11:12AM

From left: A rendering of 80 South Street and a rendering 420 Park Avenue (inset: M Myers Mermel)

From left: A rendering of 80 South Street in the Financial District and a rendering of 520 Park Avenue in Midtown (inset: M Myers Mermel)

Commercial development rights buyers paid more and struck more deals in 2015, but not so on the residential side.

The average price per square foot for commercial air rights rose 8 percent from 2014, to $278, and the volume of transactions was up 42 percent, to 51, though total square feet transferred was down 22 percent, according to a new report by Tenantwise.

Air rights for condos, though, went for an average of $322 per square foot last year, down from $368 in 2014, the New York Post reported.

Condos accounted for about 40.3 percent of air rights transfers in 2015, up from 36.9 back in 2014.

Average prices were pulled down by a handful of large, but relatively low-priced transactions. Just 13 sales totalling over 654,000-square-feet – which were priced below $200 per square foot – accounted for 42 percent of all rights sold, M. Myers Mermel, Tenantwise’s CEO, told the Post.

Earlier this month, the City Planning Commission approved the transfer of over 180,000 square feet of development rights to China Oceanwide Holdings for its mixed-use tower at 80 South Street.

There’s more to come, Mermel told the Post: “There are a lot of big air rights transfers in the works.”

The Blackstone Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge, who bought Stuyvesant Town last year for $5.35 billion last year, won approval from the city to sell over 700,000 square feet of rights currently assigned to the complex. [NYP, second item] – Ariel Stulberg