Five different towers are in various stages of completion around a two-avenue span of West 57th Street, and the projected row of megatowers has got lots of people worked upincluding the Municipal Art Society. Earlier this year, the nonprofit produced a report, called the Accidental Skyline, which included renderings of some of the towers and how their heights and shadows would affect the surrounding area. But MAS has taken the visualization one step further: creating interactive maps of all five boroughs of the same name. These maps take reams of data and consolidate it to show where developers have the most potential to build (dark red) and where the land is built to its maximum or almost-maximum capacity (gray or light yellow, respectively.) In other words, the red areas show where taller buildings could spring up, or where air rights could get sold to nearby sites. The gray and yellow areas are already saturated, or protected from new development.
"This is not secret information. It's just put together in these maps in a way that the general public wouldn't know," said MAS executive director Margaret Newman. "I found out that my building has 9,000 square feet of transferable development rights. ... we'll be working to make this a more transparent thing."
The West Side of Manhattan, for one, is ripe for development. We already knew that (Hudson Yards, anyone?) but there's plenty more room in the area for developers to build up. The proximity of the Hudson is a boon.
"There are areas around the city where there are valuable views, where there are assets that are of significant value, because that makes it a nice place to live. Like a park or waterfront views, where development is likely to occur," Newman explained. "And so it's important for people to realize that some of these areas are protected in some way or another, or, if sites were to become available, it would be possible to put up a building."
Down in the Financial District are some more development opportunities. A cool feature of these maps is that you can click on any lot and get the address, a photo, the allowed and built floor area ratio (FAR) of the building, the current zoning, and the borough, block, and lot (BBL) number, which aids in searching city real-estate tools like property records database ACRIS.
Here's a shot of most of Brooklyn. Of MAS and its goal to inform the public through these maps, Newman said, "We actually do support development, but we support development that is measured, considered, appropriate, and gives back to the city. If you're going to put up a 1,000-foot tower that is going to be there for the next 50 to 70 years, there probably ought to be some consideration that the city gives to whether this is a good idea."
Downtown Brooklyn, which is positively teeming with new and planned development, is very red.
Large swaths east of Prospect Park are also prime for some development, but less of it.
Here's a view of Queens.
And here's Long Island City, where an insane number of new apartment buildings are on the rise. And it looks from the map like there could be more where that came from.
· Accidental Skyline [MAS]
· The New, Megatower-Filled 57th Street Will Look Like This [Curbed]
· Hundreds Fret About Superscrapers' Shadows As Extell Rebuts [Curbed]
· Vanity Fair Takes On the Supertall Towers of 57th Street [Curbed]
· All Municipal Art Society coverage [Curbed]