Cuomo Approves Sale of Air Rights to Benefit Park

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pier 54 is currently a public pier and is part of Hudson River Park. Pier 54 is currently a public pier and is part of Hudson River Park. (Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC)

Governor Cuomo has approved a rescue plan for the financially-troubled Hudson River Park, which stretches along Manhattan's West Side. Among other things, the new law allows the transfer of air rights to property developers who want to build higher buildings within one block of the park than are currently allowed.

Many environmentalists are disappointed.

Bunny Gabel, with Friends of the Earth New York, said Sandy flooded basements and caused blackouts and she worries that, with more severe storms predicted as the climate changes, higher buildings might make for a bigger disaster.

“It's lunacy to be building in that area where so much devastation has already occurred,” Gabel said.

Backers of the law say the park faces more than $100 million dollars worth of necessary and urgent repairs, and selling air rights is the best way to raise the cash.

Hudson River Park was founded in 1998 and is run as a public benefit corporation.



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Comments [2]

hey noq from nyc

Its not a run around democracy. Personal property rights are the bedrock of a democratic republic. Government should fix potholes.

Mar. 03 2014 12:48 AM
G L Santangelo from NYC

Selling the air rights prevents a full debate on the development of the waterfront.
Once developers secure the air rights it will be difficult if not impossible to prevent them from using their property for which they paid so handsomely. But if development depended upon a debate whether we should raise taxes to fund the development you would see how fast the public would knock down the development plans. It's a political end run around democracy and local control.

Nov. 15 2013 07:04 AM

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