NEW YORK | Ending the Residential FAR Limit



This is the best news/effort to come out of the De Blasio administration by far and has huge implications, all positive.


I agree, Yimby. We can expect to see some very tall towers !!!


This is incredible news! New York shows no bounds!

Hopefully this means we may see 2,000 footers gracing the skyline flanked by the 1,500 footers of this decade, what a site it will be to behold :smiley:


This could be the beginning of an even greater boom! :slightly_smiling_face:


yes, this needs to pass along with a moratorium or more stringent rules about razing prewar buildings,


Wouldn’t this completely eliminate the need for air rights? I thought they essentially only increase FAR, and all other zoning restrictions still apply.

That would make some really big winners (anyone who wanted to develop in midtown), but would be really tough for landmarked buildings, and neighborhood “institutions” which sell air rights in order to keep their current form (e.g. Katz’s).
Basically it would suck to have just bought air rights, or to have decided not to sell, right before they become meaningless. Unless I’m missing something.


Air rights would still hold immense value – this would only affect areas where the max allowed residential FAR was 12, which are few and far between. Height limits/etc still applicable, this would affect neighborhoods like the Financial District & HY.


This post by Marshallknight put a smile on my face. I like it so much that its worth repeating.

FAR is what determines (at least in new developments) the total buildable rights – the simplest way to think about it is as a multiplier of the surface area of the site.

So if I have assembled a 10,000 sqft site, and it’s zoned for an FAR of 15, I could build 150,000 sqft in the new development. Those 150,000 could be distributed over as many floors as I’d like, within the bounds of whatever other zoning restrictions there might be (like total height caps, setback requirements, etc.)

If this measure were to pass, it would mean that a 10,000 sqft site could be turned into a million sqft or however much square footage be developer wanted – but still bounded by the same local zoning restriction, whatever the market makes feasible and what the limits of engineering makes possible.


ya its only for residential. Commercial would still need to assemble air rights to go tall.

However there are a few districts that currently do not have tall towers that do not have height limits and developers are only limited by FAR. I believe 2 bridges falls into this category (they are trying to get it rezoned). So based on this this Nimby can no longer count on a rezoning to stop development. They would have to create hard restrictions.


I hope it happens for commercial. At first I was like yay, but read the fine print. One day though. Its really the key for mega talls. And they are coming in time. That they are…!!!

We are on our way to being Coruscant. One tower at a time.


Hey, a few more Nordstrom’s & 111’s in this city would be born as a result that otherwise wouldn’t. Not too shabby :smiley:


actually it would make the super slim less viable.

The super slim came about because devs were trying to stretch FAR as vertical as possible to be able to charge a premium for views. So these super slims may forever be a relic of this era. (this is why they are passing it. to make it viable for devs to build vertical and create units for the non luxory market)

What it makes viable is a very tall thick tower. I mean a 2000 foot apartment tower would be possible. If the 1000 foot super slim 125 Greenwich can squeeze 364 apartments in there. I would think a bulky 2000 footer could easily get 2200. Lets say it cost 3 billion to develop. The break even point would be like 1.3 million per. Smaller units near bottom could be more accessable lets say 600-700k, once you get over 800 feet you could charge low end luxory prices, and the top 500 feet they could target 5-10 million range and try to cash in with 20-30 million dollar penthouses.

I could easily a 5 billion sell through. While still bringing many accessible (not necessarily what is called “affordable”). The key here is could they build it for 3 billion? I think one of the terra firma lots in Hudson yards could make this happen.


Curbed Article on the subject