Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Developers beware: if NIMBYs don’t stop you, phantom air-rights sales probably will

Ok, try and keep up.

In 2004, Joe Federman and Nette Properties bought a building at 19th and Spring Garden from Claire Nelson. This summer, Federman announced his intentions to build a 40-story residential tower there.

No big deal, right? As if. The proposed tower went over like a pretty girl at fat camp.

Mofos in the Spring Garden Civic Association were piiiissed. “It’s too tall. Our quiet, peaceful neighborhood will be ruined,” they screamed.

(Whatev. Have any of them ever walked down Spring Garden Street? Ok, after 4 p.m.? We think it’s pretty fair to say that the neighborhood could benefit from a little added density.)

Things weren’t looking good for the SGCA (and their one member). The lot was already zoned for a high rise so Federman didn’t need to get any variances from the inimitable ZBA. But as fate would have it, someone else got in the way.

Federman heard from the Lutheran Associates, the owners of the Spring Garden Towers, a 17-story building at 1818 Spring Garden (the white, L-shaped one at right), who claim “it has owned the air rights over 1822 Spring Garden since 1976, when it bought the rights from Franklin Town Corp. as part of the original Franklintown urban-renewal project.”

Whaaa? Air rights disputes? In Philadelphia? Sweet fancy Moses.

In Federman’s corner: a record of the sale of 1822’s air rights to Nette Properties and a 2004 deed affirming sale of 1822’s air rights to Nelson.

In Lutheran Associates’ corner:
a "deed of correction and confirmation" from December 2002 - in which Lutheran Associates reasserted its 1976 ownership of air rights from its building at 1818 Spring Garden to the southeastern corner of 19th and then south to Buttonwood Street."
FYI, we just got a “deed of correction and confirmation” for the air rights over 1915 Walnut Street. Yeah, apparently, they're up for grabs.

If only New York could see us now… they’d be so proud [Inky]


TimQ said...

so, how did it turn out?...did the owner of the air rights blow the deal, or did they get paid for them?

TimQ said...

so, how did it turn out?..did it kill the deal, or did the owner of the air rights get paid off?