Council’s land use committee unanimously approves closing favored loophole of skyscraper developers

Committee voted to count voids 25 feet or taller toward the maximum size of a project

TRD New York /
May.May 16, 2019 03:10 PM
Rafael Salamanca

New York City Council member Rafael Salamanca

The City Council’s Land Use Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to tighten New York’s infamous “mechanical voids” loophole, which developers have traditionally used to increase the heights of their buildings.

The committee voted to have mechanical spaces taller than 25 feet count toward the height limits of buildings, and the measure should go for a vote before the full City Council sometime next week, according to Land Use Committee Chair and City Council member Rafael Salamanca.

The change that committee members voted on came from the Department of City Planning. In January, the agency had proposed counting spaces taller than 25 feet toward the maximum building size but then increased this limit to 30 feet following testimony from engineers.

The city’s measure has faced criticism on the left from Assembymember Linda Rosenthal and state Sen. Robert Jackson, who are co-sponsoring a bill in Albany that they claim would tackle the loophole more comprehensively. Their bill would limit void space to no higher than 12 feet per floor after an initial 20 feet and have space for mechanical equipment count toward a building’s height unless it made up less than 5 percent of the property’s total area.

Rosenthal said in a statement that the city’s proposal “would do little more than codify the existing loophole that threatens our entire cityscape. The fight to reclaim our skies and comprehensively close the mechanical void loophole now must move to the state.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Sheldon Adelson and the Venetian (Getty, The Venetian Resort® Las Vegas)

Sheldon Adelson is leaving Las Vegas (maybe)

Sheldon Adelson is leaving Las Vegas (maybe)
Columbia Property Trust CEO Nelson Mills and 245-249 West 17th Street (Photos via Columbia Property Trust; StreetEasy)

Columbia Property Trust collects 98% of its rent in Q3

Columbia Property Trust collects 98% of its rent in Q3
The Factory building at 30-30 47th Avenue with Square Mile Capital’s Craig Solomon and Invesco CEO Marty Flanagan (Photos via The Factory; Square Mile; Invesco)

Here’s what tenants are paying at the Factory in Long Island City

Here’s what tenants are paying at the Factory in Long Island City
Bob Sulentic (Getty, iStock)

CBRE income falls nearly 10%

CBRE income falls nearly 10%
From left: Paramount CEO Albert Behler, 1301 6th Avenue, 712 5th Avenue, 31 West 52nd Street (Getty; Google Maps)

Paramount Group back at work, but tenants waiting until 2021

Paramount Group back at work, but tenants waiting until 2021
Tony Malkin (Getty, iStock)

Empire State Realty Trust reports second consecutive quarterly loss

Empire State Realty Trust reports second consecutive quarterly loss
Michael Shvo and the Transamerica Building in San Francisco and  (Unsplash)

Shvo, Deutsche Finance close on Transamerica Pyramid for $650M

Shvo, Deutsche Finance close on Transamerica Pyramid for $650M
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with (top to bottom) 5 Warehouse Lane in Elmsford in Westchester County, 2300 Linden Boulevard in Brooklyn and 1502 Bassett Avenue in the Bronx (Getty; Google Maps)

Amazon inks three warehouse deals for delivery stations

Amazon inks three warehouse deals for delivery stations
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...