The New York City Housing Authority is sitting on millions of square feet of open space that could be worth billion of dollars, according to a new report.
And if the authority decides to start selling, there is nothing that could stop the cash-strapped agency from selling out to the highest bidder, creating deluxe high-rises throughout the five boroughs.
"We now know that NYCHA has been talking to developers at numerous sites about how to dispose of their excess development rights," said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, whose office prepared the report.
Because NYCHA is subject to overlapping city, state, and federal jurisdiction, it does not have to go through the land-use procedures that other real-estate developments in the city must undergo, procedures that involve substantial community and government oversight. The agency has already looked into selling some of its open space and air rights for some of its properties in Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen.
City zoning laws from 1961 created unused air rights that building owners could sell off to neighboring locations, as well as vast open spaces that could be developed.