City could overhaul air rights transfer program

From left: St. Bartholomew's Church  in Midtown and Carl Weisbrod

From left: St. Bartholomew’s Church in Midtown and Carl Weisbrod

The city is looking to reevaluate a program under which property owners can transfer unused air rights to others.

Carl Weisbrod, the chair of the city planning commission, told Capital New York that his department will take a close look at the policy, and that “all ideas are on the table.”

“We’re quite serious about this,” Weisbrod said during a real estate conference held at Baruch College, according to the website. The policy allows property owners to sell the air rights above their buildings to developers who are developing new projects somewhere else.

Weisbrod said that procedural requirements make it difficult for many people to successfully transfer air rights from a landmarked building, due to restrictions on “receiving sites.”

“In almost 50 years now, in a city with almost 1,000 landmarks, there have only been 10 successful transfers,” he said, according to the site. All those transfers have taken place in Midtown or Lower Manhattan.

The Department of City Planning has also released a report on the subject, which will be the foundation of the city’s evaluation of the program. [Capital NY] — Claire Moses

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