With the purchase of some $85 million worth of air rights from its neighbors and a large construction loan in place, the developer of the long-stalled MoMa supertall tower said it is finally ready to put shovels in the ground.
Houston-based Hines recently closed on two deals to buy more than 240,000 square feet of development rights from MoMa and the St. Thomas Episcopal Church for its Jean Nouvel-designed, 1,050-foot condo tower 53W53, property records show. The total purchase price worked out to $85.3 million. The 31,389 square feet of development rights from MoMa worked out to about $453 per foot, while St. Thomas’ 210,000 square feet of excess rights came in shy of $340 per foot. The developer declined to comment on the specifics of the transactions. An air-rights expert not affiliated with the deals said they were probably negotiated some time ago at different intervals. [more]