State bill would let Hudson River Park and Pier 40 sell air rights

June 20, 2013 02:30PM

The cash-strapped Hudson River Park and crumbling Pier 40 may have found their saving grace. A state bill slated to be passed this week would permit the park’s trust to sell air rights as far as one block east of park boundaries to help it pay for over $100 million repairs to the pier structure, the New York Times reported.

The bill would effectively allow for greater commercial uses at the pier and at other areas along the park. Developers would also be allowed to bring schools, studios and even amusement rides to the area. For now, talks on including residential uses are on the back burner.

The bill has received support from both the Assembly and Senate. However, it’s not immediately clear how the trust’s sale of air rights would affect building heights in neighborhoods that run along the park, such as Tribeca and Chelsea.

Residential development had been floated as a means to potentially save the pier, as previously reported. But this plan had its opponents, such as Assembly member Deborah Glick, who said that housing development would affect views and the park’s character. Even state senators¬†Brad Hoylman and Daniel Squadron voiced concerns over housing, as previously reported. [NYT]¬†—Zachary Kussin