Property Grunt

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Air rights question

This was from a reader.


A question for you and your readers

Is there a way to find out about the sale/plans for air rights construction on a co-op building? I'd like to buy an apt. with an especially good view, but the side view of this corner apt. would be blocked is extra stories were added to the short bulding next to the one I'm interested in. I'd like to find out before I hire an attorney, to save expense.

Below is my response.

You ask a very interesting question. Some shoe leather is involved in this process.

1. You should check out the building in question and talk to the staff, e.g doorman, super and see if you can get a rundown of the situation.

2. Ask the seller's broker if they have access to the minutes and see if you can take a look at them. This might require a lawyer in order to properly decipher the minutes. For all you know the co-op might have already purchased the air rights.

3. Go to these two links adn search the building's status.

You should also call the city and inquire if they have any information about this building's potentail redevelopment.

4. You could also call up commerical brokers to see if this is an income producing building on the market. If it is on the market the possibility is that a buyer may be looking to build up.

5.The property might also be landmarked. If that is the case it will be damn near impossible to re-develop it. Check this site to verify it's status.

Even if you do not see any records of building up that still may not indicate you are in clear. Whoever owns the building may consider the option in the future. So it could be hit or miss.

Did I miss anything? Feel free to jump in.