The Daily Dirt: Controlling NYC’s density destiny

Budget proposal addresses FAR cap

State Budget Expected to Lift New York City’s FAR Cap

How FAR does the FAR cap proposal go? 

As you probably know by now, there is a framework, a conceptual agreement, or whatever you want to call it on the state budget.

That does not mean everything is a done deal. In fact, aspects of the housing package are still being worked out.

On Monday, the governor referred to eliminating density caps in Manhattan. But a press release and folks familiar with the negotiations indicated that lifting the cap on residential floor area ratio would be citywide. (Memo to the governor: The other four boroughs are Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx.)

The details get a bit fuzzy from there. Over the weekend, nonprofit publication the City reported that the state would allow residential projects that are 15 times the size of their lot, meaning an FAR of 15, up from the current 12. That would throw a wrench in the city’s plans to create two residential districts with floor-area ratios of 15 and 18.

It is also unclear if other provisions will be added to account for owners who want to tear down their residential properties to take advantage of the higher FAR, or if that would even be an issue if FAR were capped at 15.

Still, Mayor Eric Adams on Monday said the housing package “reflects all the housing priorities our administration has long called for,” including lifting the FAR cap, creating an incentive for office-to-residential conversions and launching a pilot program to legalize safe basement and cellar apartments.

It is not clear if the basement apartment provision is the same as a measure that would authorize the city to create an amnesty program for existing basement and cellar units.

What we’re thinking about: When will we have a final state budget? Send a note to

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A thing we’ve learned: The 12,500-square-foot concourse planned for the Vornado-Rudin-Griffin office tower to rise at 350 Park Avenue must go through the city’s public review process.

Elsewhere in New York…

— NYC is creating an office tasked with removing abandoned boats from the city’s waterways, Gothamist reports. The city Parks Departments on Tuesday announced the Office of Marine Debris Disposal and Vessel Surrendering, which will clear the city’s waterways of derelict boats and crush them using a bulldozer with a claw attachment.

— City officials are seeing an increase in cases of a potentially deadly illness linked to contact with rat urine, NBC New York reports. The Department of Health has recorded six cases of leptospirosis infections this year after 24 last year.

— Seven out of 12 jurors have been selected for former President Trump’s criminal trial on charges he falsified business records to hide hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, Reuters reports

Residential:  The priciest residential sale on Monday was $9.85 million for a 7,500-square-foot townhouse at 64 East Seventh Street in the East Village. J. Roger Erickson and Molly Reilly of Douglas Elliman had the listing.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial sale of the day was $25 million for a 23,800-square-foot retail property at 104-15 Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills.

New to the Market: The highest price for a residential property hitting the market was $9.75 million for a 3,300-square-foot condominium at 1 Wall Street in the Financial District. 

Matthew Elo