Could the Midtown East air rights floor price be on the chopping block?

A bill proposes to audit the air right sales

New York /
Jun.June 06, 2017 04:50 PM

City Council member Dan Garodnick on Tuesday introduced a bill that will require the city to audit every air rights sale in Midtown East once it’s rezoned. If history is any indication, the mandatory audit could be a way to get rid of a controversial floor price included in the rezoning proposal.

The city proposed a similar audit in the Theater District after tossing a required floor price for air rights sales in the area in February. The proposal to rezone Midtown East includes a floor price of $393 per square foot for air rights transactions in the district. Under that plan, property owners must also contribute at least 20 percent of the sale proceeds to a public improvement fund. Some officials have cited the floor price as a means to bring transparency to the transactions, and an audit of the sales could — arguably — establish a similar level of accountability.

Still, Garodnick said the measure doesn’t necessarily mean that the city is scrapping the floor price.

“We are exploring ways to protect the integrity of the air rights transfer process in East Midtown, and an audit could be one way to do that,” he said in a statement. “To ensure that it remains an option as we evaluate the proposal, we need to get the legislative process started now.”

The proposed pricing for air rights in the district had been a sore spot for the Real Estate Board of New York, air rights owners and even some local politicians. In April, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer recommended that the floor price should be lowered to $250 per square foot or another mechanism to control these transfers be put in place. REBNY’s Michael Slattery indicated on Tuesday that the organization is still reviewing the bill.

Garodnick’s proposal comes as the land use review process for the Midtown East rezoning, which began in January, inches its way toward the finish line. The City Planning Commission is slated to consider the proposal on Wednesday.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Scott McIntyre, chief executive officer, Guidehouse (Guidehouse, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
New York rent relief contractor boasted about profits as program struggled
New York rent relief contractor boasted about profits as program struggled
Keith Powers, Democratic District 4 representative on the New York City Council, in front of 45 East 45th Street (Getty Images, The Roosevelt Hotel, iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Local lawmakers aim to landmark shuttered Roosevelt Hotel
Local lawmakers aim to landmark shuttered Roosevelt Hotel
From left: Steven Roth, chief executive officer, Vornado Realty Trust; Kathy Hochul, governor of New York; Stephen Ross, chairman and founder, The Related Companies (Getty Images, iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Real estate showers Hochul with cash
Real estate showers Hochul with cash
Gov. Kathy Hochul Lays Out Replacement 421a (Getty Images, iStock, , Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
New name, same basic idea: Hochul pitches 421a reform
New name, same basic idea: Hochul pitches 421a reform
(iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Hochul plan for resi towers is tall order
Hochul plan for resi towers is tall order
From left: Letitia James, attorney general of New York; Donald Trump, 45th U.S. president (Getty Images, Wikipedia/ChrisRuvolo, iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
New York AG alleges Trump altered values at 6 properties
New York AG alleges Trump altered values at 6 properties
From left: Joseph Riever and Christopher Marte (Elizabeth Street Garden, New York City Campaign Finance Board)
After 10-year saga, judge’s delay keeps senior housing unbuilt
After 10-year saga, judge’s delay keeps senior housing unbuilt
From left: Kathy Hochul, governor of New York; Robert Mujica, director of the budget for New York State (Getty Images, iStock/Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
$2B in Hochul budget could fund rent relief
$2B in Hochul budget could fund rent relief
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...