The Real Deal New York

Upward construction boom blacks out neighbors

December 20, 2013 04:50PM

As towering development booms in New York City, a number of longtime residents are losing their light.

As highrise buildings go up alongside existing homes, views and natural light are common casualties. In the West Village, 150 Charles’ 15-story residence has blacked out neighbors, as has Riverside South, Or Trump Place, at 120 Riverside Boulevard, the New York Times reported. And Extell Development’s towering One57 at 157 West 57th Street will not only likely darken the windows of neighbors, but will cast a shadow across Central Park that is as much as a mile long.

The push to build ever higher came from city rezoning in the 1960s that aimed to accommodate a population swelling from 12 million to 16 million.

The impact of the impending darkness on property values is tough to measure, real estate appraiser Jonathan Miller told the Times, noting that “in vertical living … like it or not, people are going to lose their view or light.”

That said, the glass and steel construction boom could have an alternate effect on the light front: glass-curtain towers could actually reflect some light into places that were dark previously. [NYT]Julie Strickland