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Shark Bites: Views to a Kill

[Every other Tuesday, the fine folks from property research hub PropertyShark drop by Curbed to share some analysis distilled from their acres of NYC-specific maps. Join us, please, in another edition of Shark Bites...]

"Will I lose my view?" A couple of readers thinking of buying apartments have asked this question. If you're buying a coop or condo unit with great views, you need to think about whether or not you could lose your views to a towering condo development. The answer comes in three parts.

Short term you need to look at existing zoning. PropertyShark's Air Rights map can show you the surrounding neighborhoods and which buildings have the potential to become much, much taller. The darker the red, the more the potential (arrow #1). (Disclaimer: PShark's maps are for entertainment purposes only, no guarantees are made, you need to verify all data with an architect or lawyer.)

You may be saved if your view overlooks a landmark district. Some people think landmark status (arrow #2) is sort of like garlic to ward off evil blood-sucking developers. But other people claim to have seen developers blow right through the Landmarks Commission with a few well-placed political contributions and a pretentious architect nattering on about contextual green design. You'll have to make your own judgement call on that.

Looking five to 10 years out, you should investigate whether any zoning changes are in the works. NYU's Furman Center for Real Estate has put together a web site that is really the definitive source; go to www.plannyc.org and check out your location. Long term, anything is possible. Could some mayor in the future decide to push through rezonings of vast swaths of the city? Hey, it could happen.
· PropertyShark Maps [PropertyShark]
· Ask Curbed: Who's Got My View? [Curbed]