A New York City Air Rights Brouhaha!

By | April 10, 2017

Source: The Real Deal

The topic of New York City air rights is somewhat arcane, and an area of commercial real estate development that is not TRULY understood by many in the marketplace!

Recently the Hallmark Abstract Service blog had published an article titled, ‘Are Manhattan Air Rights Losing Some Of Their Luster?‘, that examined how as ‘the market for land sales in Manhattan has cooled amid a real estate slowdown, air rights trades have plummeted…’. This article also included links to articles providing more of an explanation about what air rights are.

But this slowdown in sales does not mean that air rights have become an irrelevant issue, as witnessed by a fight between two Soho developers over the strong desire of NYC buyers and renters to possess unobstructed views!

From an article at The Real Deal New York, ‘Dueling Soho developers beef over unobstructed views‘!

Agime Group accuses Madigan Development of using DOB to block project

Building a condo tower with 360-degree views is any developer’s dream. But what if the owner of the lot next door has the exact same idea?

That, in a nutshell, is what a new legal duel between Agime Group and Madigan Development is all about. Agime wants to build a 25-story, 287-foot-tall tower at 568-570 Broome Street in Hudson Square. Madigan wants to build a 290-foot tall apartment building next door at 111 Varick Street. Now Agime filed a lawsuit against the neighboring developer accusing it of trying to sabotage the rival project to preserve its own building’s views.

Agime, headed by Murat Agirnasli, is able to build 287 feet tall because the Department of Buildings designated the area in front of 570 Broome a so-called Wide Street, which increases the building’s maximum allowable height. According to a complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court on Tuesday, Madigan wrote to the DOB challenging the Wide Street designation and plans to appeal a ruling that upheld the designation. If Madigan gets its way, Agime will only be able to build 185 feet tall.

Agime alleges that Madigan wrote to the DOB in violation of a zoning lot development agreement prohibiting such interference because it wanted “to provide unobstructed views to the units on the upper floors of its building.”

Agime paid $31 million for the lot in 2014 and dished out another $10.2 million for air rights, according to a previous report and the complaint. Construction is already under way.

Agime’s attorney and Madigan did not respond to emails seeking comment.

The two firms aren’t the first developers to bicker over views. Extell Development threatened to block Vornado Realty Trust’s condo project 220 Central Park South because it would have blocked views from Extell’s Central Park Tower project. The two sides settled their dispute in 2013 by each agreeing to move their projects a little to the side.

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