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50 Brook. L. Rev. 867 (1983-1984)
Air Rights in New York City: TDR, Zoning Lot Merger and the Well-Considered Plan

handle is hein.journals/brklr50 and id is 891 raw text is: BROOKLYN LAW
REVIEW

Volume 50                  Summer 1984                    Number 4
AIR RIGHTS IN NEW YORK CITY: TDR, ZONING
LOT MERGER AND THE WELL-CONSIDERED
PLAN
Norman Marcus*
The transfer of air rights has become an integral part of real
estate development in New York City. One need only stand in
the mall of Park Avenue and Fifty-second Street in Manhattan
to realize the extent to which city planners and private develop-
ers have used air rights to change the shape of the city. From
there, one can see tall office buildings and hotels that extend the
standard zoning requirements of the area because their owners
have purchased the air rights, also known as development rights,
of neighboring buildings. For example, the Racquet and Tennis
Club is a landmark quality structure at 370 Park Avenue, be-
hind which stands a tower built as a result of negotiations over
the Club's air rights.' Down Fifty-first Street, toward Madison
Avenue, one can see the tower of the Helmsley Palace rising
above the old Villard Houses that now serve as the hotel's for-
* Counsel, New York City Planning Commission; Adjunct Professor of Land Use
Law at New York University School of Law, Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School and Pratt
Institute; B.A. Columbia College, 1953; LL.B. Yale Law School, 1957. The views ex-
pressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of the City Planning Commis-
sion or Department of City Planning. Mr. Marcus presented an early version of this
Article as the principal speaker at the Brooklyn Law Review Colloquium, Air Rights:
TDR, Zoning Lot Merger and the Well-Considered Plan, which took place on March 28,
1984.
A version of this article will appear as a chapter in a forthcoming publication of
Lexington Books on the subject of transferable development rights.
I For a detailed discussion of these negotiations, see text accompanying notes 38-39
infra.

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