Air Rights Public Hearing Sees New St. John's Terminal Plans
During a public hearing on the potential sale of Pier 40’s air rights, Councilman Corey Johnson expressed his distaste for the new plan and the possibility of the funds not getting to the pier in time.
Although he admitted the developers could still pursue an as-of-right project that wouldn't require the air rights or include housing, Johnson declared “that can't happen,” DNAInfo reports.
Johnson’s caused disruption with his condition that Pier 40 not sell any more air rights throughout his neighborhood. The developers claim the plans are changing over concerns of a flagging luxury residential market, but councilman and subcommittee chair Donovan Richards said the developers’ commitment needs to be "in stone" before the council votes on the rezoning.
The original plan—consisting of five luxury condo buildings, affordable housing, retail, and possibly hotel or office space—is only possible with the $100M purchase of Pier 40’s 200k SF of air rights. A portion of these funds was to be put into escrow after Hudson River Park Trust approves the sale, and the rest delivered after the deal closes.
If the sale is completed, the pier will have 383k SF of unused air rights remaining, which Hudson River Park Trust president and CEO Madelyn Wils says will be used to build revenue-generating office space.
The pier is required by law to support itself, but it also needs an amendment to the Hudson River Park Act from the state legislature to develop. [DNA]