One of the many beefs brought up at last week's epic hearing over the controversial Midtown East rezoning plan was air rights. Namely, how to price them. See, the general idea behind the rezoning is to replace outdated office buildings with taller, denser towers than the current regulations allow, with developers who want in on the action required to pay the city (or other owners of air rights, like landmarks), along the lines of $250/square foot. Those funds, if paid to the city, would go towards improving transit, public space, and other neighborhood amenities, especially in light of the influx of new workers, residents, and the like.
But the WSJ reports that a new appraisal values the rights at upwards of $400/square foot. The finding was part of a report commissioned by the owners of Grand Central Terminal, which has a stake in the whole thing because it stands to rake in some dough by selling its air rights under the existing plan.
· Midtown Rights Appraisal Is Up in Air [WSJ]
· Over 100 Speakers Flood The Podium At Epic Rezoning Hearing [Curbed]
· All Midtown East rezoning coverage [Curbed]