On the Market: $1 Million Won’t Buy You Anything in Manhattan, Not Even Air Rights

Tony Fischer Photography/flickr

Tony Fischer Photography/flickr

The federal government may redirect more than $1 billion in Sandy aid on other disasters, depriving the region of a large chunk of the $3.6 billion that was to be awarded for rebuilding, according to The Wall Street Journal. HUD officials apparently believe that they are both required to do so and that officials in New York and New Jersey have overestimated their need, though many unfinished rebuilding projects are depending on the funds. All of which is on the cusp of having been decided without public debate. But at least the $1.2 billion in financial backing for the third World Trade Center tower is being discussed intensively and openly, The Journal reports—a rarity at the Port Authority that was sparked by slow leasing at the first two World Trade Center towers.

More and more of the one-percent are allegedly choosing to spend their vast wealth on experiences rather than material goods, according to Crain’s. But isn’t choosing super 99 percent? And what should we make of all the trophy apartments they very rich have been snapping up in Manhattan?

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that even $1 million won’t buy you anything worthwhile in New York. If ever you were in doubt about the fact that New York doesn’t love you, this would be it. To make matters worse, the frustrated $1 million apartment seeker featured in the article is New Yorker staff writer Patricia Marx. Yes, not even if all your career dreams all come true will you be able to afford to live in Manhattan. (Well, sort of: Ms. Marx eventually finds a “wreck” of a two-bedroom, two-bath in Sutton Place.)

New York Times columnist Michael Kimmelman makes the very good point that a huge problem with development in the outerboroughs is just how Manhattan-centric all the city’s public transportation is: it’s much easier to get to Manhattan from many points in Brooklyn and Queens than it is to get to commute within the respective boroughs, let alone from one to the other. Less convincing: he suggests we build a streetcar.

Crain’s digs into the different air rights proposals that have been championed by HPD head Vicki Been and City Planning chair Carl Weisbrod prior to their current positions. While Ms. Been’s plan would allow landmarked buildings to sell their air rights to nearby sites facing wide streets, Mr. Weisbrod’s plan would be far more sweeping, allowing for a very free, cross-borough exchange.

Last of all, is Patrick Stewart just telling us what we want to hear? The Star Trek star says he would like to ban strollers on the sidewalks of Park Slope, according to NY Mag.