City Seeks Developer to Finance Parks on Greenpoint Waterfront

The Daily News is a bit confused about the air-rights sale at 65 Commercial Street.

The sale of the air rights themselves is not a “new plan” – it was one of the points of agreement between the Bloomberg administration and the City Council back in 2005. What is new is that those same points of agreement earmarked the funds from the sale of the air rights was supposed to go towards a $2 million tenant legal fund and a $10 “waterfront affordable housing and infrastructure fund”. As I understand it, the tenant legal fund was funded by the City a few years back, when it became clear that the air rights transfer was not imminent. But I don’t believe the infrastructure fund was ever funded.

The headline of the News, and some of the quotes from “a developer who asked to remain anonymous” in the article also imply that this is a wide open RFP. It is actually quite a narrow one – there are only two developers who can reasonably use the air rights from 65 Commercial, and they are the owners of the adjacent properties to either side: 77 Commercial Street to the east and the massive Park Tower site to the west. A small market, indeed.