There are three Midtown religious institutions that want to cash in on the cityâ€™s Midtown East rezoning proposal: the St. Patrickâ€™s Cathedral, St. Bartholomewâ€™s and Central Synagogue. They want to sell air (aka: the right to build more Manhattan real estate). In fact they feel a bit left out because the Bloomberg administrationâ€™s rezoning plan would allow them to reap the material rewards of these rights, but they found themselves just outside of the rezoned area.
The proposal aims to rebooth the section of the City going from 39th to 57th streets between Second and Fifth avenues, allowing for taller and more modern buildings. There seems to be a need for first rate office buildings near Grand Central Station.
If the new plan is approved, any property owner within the named section will be able to buy air rights.
The religious institutions lie just outside the subdistrictâ€™s borders, so they would remain subject to current city law, which restricts the sale of air rights for landmarked buildings to adjacent lots (or, with a special permit, to properties accross the street). Unfortunately the properties that surround these institutions are not able nor willing to competitively bid for these air rights. If the district is created, developers will just buy air rights through the streamlined process the City is putting into place, which leaves out the religious folks. After all, why would they go through a more complicated process?
The total estimated value of the combined air rights held by these three religious entities goes roughly from $900 million to $1.1 billion. These numbers, even for men of faith, are no peanuts! We wish them luck in their lobbying efforts.
After four consecutive months of slower rental growth, Manhattan rents are revving up. This is clear in the recent Douglas Elliman report (compiled by Miller Samuel). The average monthly rent for a Manhattan apartment in February was $3,956, a 4.3% increase from January and a 4.9% increase from February 2012.
Meanwhile, 8% of rental transactions were completed with some kind of concession, a steep drop from the months during the recession where many landlords offered tenants free rent and other sweeteners, according to Citi Habitats Manhattan rental report for February.
A TriBeCa townhouse with a history of skyrocketing appreciation is back on the market. The New York Observer reported that the four story building at 452 Greenwich Street, currently owned by Sean McCarthy, is now asking $24.5 million.
The builing traded in 1998 for $500,000 and again in 1999 for $1.5 million. McCarthy purchased it in 2003 for $5.65 million and subsequently invested a significant amount in the renovation of the six-bedroom townhouse. It features a chefâ€™s kitchen, automated sorround sound control, a 1,200 squarefoot rooftop garden and a 2,500-bottle wine room. Anyoneâ€™s dream home indeed!
I am available to answer your questions anytime. Whether you are interested in buying, selling or renting a piece of the Big Apple, I will be pleased to hear from you or anybody you know who can take advantage of my expertise. If you are thinking of selling I offer a free property-market-value estimate.
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