Believe it or not: a number of residents from a condo in Chelsea, New York, took an unusual step to protect their view from being blocked by a proposed neighboring residential tower, and paid $11 million to developers to stop the construction. This unprecedented procedure has drastically changed the construction approach in the city.
In New York, known for its skyscrapers, finding an apartment with an open view is a rare and priceless opportunity, and if found, it often leads to conflicts. According to the New York Times, a conflict had recently emerged in the Brooklyn Bridge area because of the construction of a residential building project that would block the view including the beach and Central Park.
When the residents of the 12-story residential tower in Chelsea knew that a new neighboring residential tower will block light and their view of the Empire State, they chose a solution that would save them a lot of headache. They prepared an unprecedented proposal and paid $11 million to prevent the construction of the new project.
The recent proposal came to turn the construction approach in the city upside down, as the condo owners bought the “air rights” that allow a land owner to build higher buildings for extra fees. Surprisingly, this time, the air right has been used for a reverse purpose: blocking the construction of a higher than the three-story buildings of the Seventh Avenue neighborhood.
Commented on the unfamiliar step, Jordan Barowitz, vice president of public affairs at real estate firm Durst Organization, said: “I’ve never heard of that much cash being spent for an intangible, for a view.”
The Chelsea condo residents didn’t pay the same amount of the $11 million deal. Some were embarrassed to mention their sum, while one resident said he paid $1 million alone to keep on his apartment’s view.