The Real Deal New York

Hudson River air rights meeting set — but long way to go

Trust, community seek agreement permitting transfer of rights across the street

March 20, 2014 03:55PM

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Hudson River Park

Hudson River Park

Discussions about the possible sale of 1.6 million square feet of air rights connected to the Hudson River Park, placed on hold until the recent appointment of City Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod, kick off next week.

The Hudson River Park Trust, authorized to sell the air rights through last year’s Hudson River Park Act, wants to use the sale to pay for infrastructure improvements to the 500-acre park, Crain’s reported. Among the key projects is a $110 million restoration of Pier 40, a 14-acre space at the western end of Houston Street.

A meeting planned for next week will be the first step in what is likely to be a long discussion about exactly how the rights will be transferred, Crain’s reported.

“It’s a positive step, but the air rights have to be transferred in a way that is appropriate, and in proper proportions, to the other side of the highway,” David Gruber, chairman of Manhattan’s Community Board 2, told Crain’s.

The area’s current zoning prohibits the transfer of air rights across a street, and so the trust and community must work with the Department of City Planning to devise a solution. A special zoning district along the lines of the Chelsea area around the high line is one possible scenario.

Several possible recipients of the air rights have already been identified, including blocks near the Related Companies’ Hudson Yards development on the West Side. [Crain's]Julie Strickland

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