JPMorgan Chase is in talks to buy another 100,000 square feet of air rights from St. Bartholomew’s Church as part of its plans to build a new 2.5-million-square-foot tower.
The bank is also purchasing 680,000 square feet of air rights from the owners of Grand Central Terminal for $240 million and may buy more from another religious institution, the New York Times reported. JPMorgan Chase plans to demolish its headquarters at 270 Park Avenue and replace it will a larger office tower — made possible through the Midtown East rezoning.
Last week, MRP Realty and Deutsche Bank Asset Management announced that they would buy 30,000 square feet of air rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral under the rezoning. The Times reported that developers are eyeing at least four other buildings to demolish, including the Grand Hyatt New York hotel near Grand Central. The Real Deal previously reported that the Pfizer headquarters on 42nd Street, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority headquarters on Madison Avenue and the Roosevelt Hotel on 45th Street were also possible contenders.
As part of the rezoning of the district, which was approved in August, the city identified 3.6 million square feet of landmarked air rights that developers could purchase to build out their office buildings. Under the rezoning, a public realm improvement fund will receive either 20 percent of the value of these air rights sales or $61.49 per square foot — whichever is greater. The JPMorgan Chase deals are expected to generate $42 million for improvements. [NYT] — Kathryn Brenzel