If there was a commandment for not coveting thy neighbor’s air rights deal, The Brook would face damnation. The exclusive private men’s club agreed to sell its unused development rights to the owners of 405 Park Avenue, scuttling a previous agreement with St. Patrick’s Cathedral and costing the church millions.
Back in March the owners of 405 Park, MRP Realty and Deutsche Bank, reached a deal to buy 30,000 square feet of air rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral for $7.2 million. The deal would have also led to a $2 million investment in public infrastructure under the rules of Midtown East’s new zoning.
But The Brook, a club located at 111 East 54th Street, swooped in and undercut the Archdiocese’s price, Crain’s reported. Because its property sits right next to 405 Park, the club can sell its air rights under pre-rezoning rules and doesn’t have to pay into a city fund for public upgrades. “Everything else being equal, yes, the fact that there is the toll to the city, if the adjacent neighbor is willing to sell, they are at an advantage,” said Brian Strout of City Center Real Estate, an air rights and land assemblage advisory firm.