Over the last 50 years, New York City has pioneered the use of Transferable Development Rights (TDRs) to achieve planning and urban design goals – examples include 74-79 Landmark Transfers, large-scale development provisions, and Special District mechanisms in the South Street Seaport, the High Line, and the Grand Central and Theater Subdistricts. Some have been successful, and others less so.
As development in New York City continues apace, the Department of City Planning has received several proposals to create new TDR mechanisms in order to unlock floor area, generate revenue for public benefits, or achieve other planning objectives. DCP has also heard calls from various quarters to reform existing mechanisms in order to facilitate their use or to subject them to greater public oversight.
In response, the DCP will embark on a period of stakeholder engagement and careful reconsideration of the role of TDRs among the range of zoning and planning tools available in New York City – as outlined in the Mayor’s Housing Plan.
This process began with a conference hosted by the Department of City Planning and the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute at Baruch College on February 26, 2016. City Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod delivered the keynote address, which was followed by a panel discussion on the different uses of TDRs. This conference was the first step of the department’s look into the role of TDRs among the range of zoning and planning tools in New York City. Special thanks to the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute for hosting this discussion.