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Lower East Side Co-op Might Have Extra $100 Million Lying Around

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Think for a moment how someone might react if they were digging around in their closet and stumbled across $100 million. Us, we'd be screaming "Anything is possible!" at the top of our lungs like Kevin Garnett, but the co-op board at Seward Park?the large housing complex that's part of the Lower East Side's sprawling Co-Op Village?took a quieter route in revealing its newfound riches: It sent out a memo. How is the board so calm? Because the $100 million Seward Park may have just uncovered is, for now, a hypothetical amount. It's the estimated value of the unused air and development rights that the complex possesses?one million square feet, according to a study of Seward Park recently completed by SLCE Architects. Jackpot?
Not quite, and certainly not yet. While there is plenty of "untapped potential," as the memo states, Seward Park may in the end decide to do nothing. Plus, the market for a mountain's worth of unused LES air rights is not what it once was, at least not at the momemt. Still, this is the most interesting memo to arrive on Seward Park letterhead in years:

Just for fun, let's say Seward Park does decide to sell the air rights. Who might be interested? How about the developer that finally ends up with neighborhood albatross SPURA? Go big or go home, baby! Or maybe Seward Park will use the air rights to build glassy rooftop additions to its towers, bringing in some new buyers and their much-needed monthly maintenance payments. That upcoming board meeting just got a bit more interesting!
· Seward Park coverage [Curbed]