The Real Deal New York

Mayoral aides present different air rights proposals

Mayor de Blasio scheduled to unveil cohesive housing policy on May 1

April 20, 2014 04:00PM

From left, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Vicki Been, Carl Weisbrod

From left, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Vicki Been, Carl Weisbrod

WEEKENDEDITION Two of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s aides have unveiled markedly different proposals for harnessing unused development capacity of landmarked buildings at a meeting at City Hall recently.

Vicki Been, the commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, argued that landmarked buildings should be allowed to sell their air rights not only to adjacent buildings, but also to nearby properties facing wide streets.

The proposal advanced by Carl Weisbrod, chairman of the City Planning Commission, however, argued that the transfer of air rights should be permitted clear across town, including to other boroughs.

Disagreements within the mayor’s team should be settled by May 1, when his housing policy is expected to be unveiled.

As the de Blasio administration crafts its proposal to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing, the mayor has signaled his approval for allowing higher-density development. Selling air rights from landmarked buildings is one untapped source.

An estimated 28% of Manhattan properties are landmarked or in historic districts, according to a study by the Real Estate Board of New York.

The City Hall meeting also included a top aide to Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor for housing and economic development, who has been tasked with delivering a housing policy that accomplishes the mayor’s goals. [Crain’s] —TRD

2 Responses to “Mayoral aides present different air rights proposals”

  1. April 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm, Get Real said:

    Landrex would totally screw Churches and Nonprofits. The amount projected sold each year is minuscule and would be divided amongst all participants, which means everyone gets pennies In addition all the air would be tied up. Large air holders would get paid out over a century with never enough money for capital repairs much less money that could generate operating funds. The best reason for it? Makes money for the hucksters pushing it !!!

    • April 21, 2014 at 4:22 pm, splosions are costly said:

      it would also cripple the value of small buildings because now it doesn’t matter if their neighbor sells to a developer who now does not need your air rights

      maybe the city should just allow building high regardless of air rights for the sake of development which will fuel so many necessary drains on the city’s coffers

      If I lose my air rights profitability, I wouldn’t mind knowing that if I wanted to, I could build high regardless.

      Or are we controlling building high to control the real estate prices?

      We don’t have an affordable housing crisis. We have a Manhattan affordability issue. Building high as we want would cancel it but some people would lose out – do we want other people’s yuan or whatever in drips and drabs as buildings get the all clear to go so high or do we just want to create entire skyscrapers that are basically earmarked to pay for the sandhogs’ salaries up to 14th Street, etc.

      We need money. Foreigners want to give us their money and they don’t care about how expensive everything it – that means there’s another group of them that wouldn’t mind covering the sandhogs payroll if it means they get … a green card?

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