Montauk Airport’s asking price may render preservation unfeasible

The privately owned Montauk Airport has been on the market for nearly two months with an asking price of $18 million. Most residents, local plane enthusiasts and even the Prudential Douglas Elliman brokers listing the property want its current use to be maintained, according to the New York Times. But the airport’s zoning allows for residential development, and without that component it is difficult to imagine the property fetching anything close to its asking price.

The 37-acre airport has just a 3,400-foot runway that is too short for private jets and lacks a fueling station, so it generates revenue from landing fees — which range from $17 to $50, depending on the type of plane. In the most recent 12 months of data there were 30,361 takeoffs and landings.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“There’s just no way of making that airport pay anywhere near the asking price as far as the real estate is concerned,” Peter Lowenstein, the president of the Montauk Pilots Association, told the Times. “To pay $18 million for something that in a good year returns $10,000 — well, to coin a phrase, do the arithmetic. My feeling is, if it ever gets sold, it would have to be to somebody who’s not thinking logically as far as payback on any kind of investment.”

Meanwhile, as Montauk trends ever more upscale, residential development would be increasingly lucrative. [NYT]Adam Fusfeld