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St. Patrick’s Cathedral could cash in on air rights for $7.2M

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Before a deal is finalized, the church will have to show how the sale would benefit the upkeep of the Fifth Ave. church

In the foreground is a city street with yellow taxi cabs. In the distance is a church surrounded by other city buildings. Shutterstock.com

[Update]: The Archdiocese of New York already has a tentative buyer who wants to purchase a porti of air rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, that could fetch as least $7.2 million, reports Crain’s. If the deal goes through, it would become the second deal to take advantage of the new Midtown East rezoning, with JPMorgan’s plans to demolish and rebuild their headquarters at 270 Park Avenue being the first.


Part of the Midtown East rezoning that was approved last summer was a provision that would allow landmarked buildings within the rezoned area to sell their air rights. Now one prominent building is looking to do just that.

The Archdiocese of New York is gearing up to sell air rights from St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue, Crain’s reports. While the church was previously allowed to sell air rights, it was only restricted to neighboring projects. The rezoning opened up the sharing of air rights to any new developments in the 78-block stretch of the rezoned area.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese declined to tell Crain’s if there were specific developers the church was in talks with, but before the sale of the air rights moves through, the church will have to detail how such a sale will go toward the upkeep of the cathedral.

Crain’s reports that the church will present its plan to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and the local community board, in the next few weeks. The start of the New Year has already seen a lot of action relating to the Midtown East rezoning. Just last week, the city announced plans to demolish the former Union Carbide building, and build a new home for JP Morgan Chase; the move was denounced by many architecture critics.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

, Manhattan, NY 10022