Blackstone, Ivanhoe Cambridge get another Stuy Town benefit: air rights

Buyers win city backing to sell 700,000 square feet of unused rights
October 23, 2015 10:30AM

The Blackstone Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge won the city’s backing to sell Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village’s unused air rights, which could rake in as much as $350 million.

The concession is part of an agreement to keep about 5,000 units at the complex affordable – a key component in Blackstone and partner Ivanhoe Cambridge’s $5.3 billion acquisition of the complex, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to a deal with the city announced Tuesday, the buyers will keep almost half the units affordable for up to 20 years in exchange for public support of its bid and about $225 million in benefits. Air rights, however, weren’t mentioned publicly.

According to the Journal, Stuyvesant Town has around 700,000 square feet of unused air rights. In theory, these can only be used for construction on the same block – a politically toxic issue in Stuyvesant Town. As part of the acquisition, Blackstone and Ivanhoe Cambridge agreed not to build on the site. In return, they will be allowed to sell their air rights to sites elsewhere in the city.

A city spokesperson told the Journal the air rights agreement “represents a commitment to work with the new owner, which has agreed not to develop any of the open spaces within the complex and protect its affordable housing.” [WSJ] — Konrad Putzier