The Real Deal New York

JPMorgan buys 667K sf of air rights from Grand Central for 270 Park

Bank paid Grand Central owners $208M
By Kathryn Brenzel | December 13, 2018 06:30PM

270 Park Avenue (left) and 89 East 42nd Street (Credit: iStock, Getty Images, and Wikipedia)

JPMorgan Chase just purchased nearly 700,000 square feet of air rights from Grand Central Terminal for its planned tower at 270 Park Avenue.

The bank bought 666,766 square feet of development rights, 1,234 square feet less than what was expected based on the company’s application to the city in September. JPMorgan paid $208 million to Grand Central’s owners, TF Cornerstone and MSD Capital, according to documents filed on Thursday with the city’s Department of Finance.

Sources familiar with the deal said JPMorgan had the option to buy the additional 1,200-plus square feet of air rights but didn’t need to for its Park Avenue project. In March, the New York Times reported that the deal was valued at $240 million, but sources said that figure included the contribution to Midtown East’s public realm improvement fund — as required by the neighborhood’s recent rezoning.

With these and other air rights purchased from landmarks in Midtown East, JPMorgan plans to build a new headquarters that will span 2.5 million square feet. But construction of the 1,000-plus tall tower may face some logistical challenges. At an MTA board meeting earlier this week, officials revealed that the height of the project may require deeper footings, which could interfere with the East Side Access project, Crain’s reported. It’s unclear if this will impact the scale of JPMorgan’s project.

The tower was the first to take advantage of the Midtown East rezoning, which officials hope will add 6.5 million square feet of new office space to the neighborhood.