The Real Deal New York

St. Patrick’s Cathedral making first moves toward selling air rights

Church has 1M sf of development rights it could sell as JPMorgan Chase gets ready to redevelop HQ
February 22, 2018 03:55PM

St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Cardinal Dolan (Credit: Getty Images)

The Archdiocese of New York is moving forward with plans to sell a trove of air rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral following last year’s rezoning of Midtown East.

The church is scheduled in the coming weeks to present a plan to the Landmarks Preservation and local community board for how it will use the proceeds of any air rights deal to maintain the landmarked cathedral, Crain’s reported. It’s a necessary step before inking a deal.

“A continuing maintenance plan is required in order to pursue an air-rights transfer pursuant to the new Midtown rezoning plan,” an Archdiocese spokesperson told Crain’s in a statement. “And we are getting the cathedral in a position to act on a transfer if one should be presented.”

The cathedral has roughly 1 million square feet of air rights on its block between Fifth and Madison avenues and East 50th and East 51st streets. The Archdiocese has more leeway to sell the development rights following the rezoning.

The church declined to comment on whether it’s working on a sale, but JPMorgan Chase is reportedly in the market for air rights as it prepares to demolish its headquarters at 270 Park Avenue and replace it with a new, 2.5 million-square-foot office tower.

It’s the first project to take advantage of the new zoning. [Crain’s]Rich Bockmann