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Air Rights Shuffle on Broad Street

Posted27/Apr/2007 22:00:00

According to the report published today in Downtown Express, a recently approved unusual exchange of air rights, predicated on de-landmarking the building at 25 Broad street, will allow neighboring 45 Broad to "grow" 12 extra floors.

Basically, the deal will work as follows:

  1. 25 Broad Street (25 Broad at the Exchange) will be de-landmarked (the landmark status was given to the building in 2001).
  2. Following that, most floors of its rear wing will be demolished. This will actually not affect the appearance all that much, considering that another building under contruction at 15 William street (15 William) would have hidden it from public view, anyway.
  3. The "air rights" released by the demolition will be transferred to 45 Broad, a 35-story structure, allowing that building to add 12 extra floors. Thus, 45 Broad will become a 47-floor building.
To sweeten the deal, the properties' owner, Swig Equities, made some restoration promises (for example, they pledged to fully restore the rest of 25 Broad's exterior), although some at the L.P.C. expressed hesitation about how the Commission would be able to enforce the restoration deal once Swig's demolition application was approved.

Even though the plan was approved, both Community Board 1 and the Landmark Preservation Commission expressed hope that this would not set a precedent allowing other building owners to perform similar manipulations with the air-rights of their buildings.

Sources and Links

  1. Owner Asks to Demolish Part of Landmark (Tribeca Tribune, March 30 2007)
  2. Out of sight, out of landmark protection (Downtown Express, April 27 2007)

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