Home Second Avenue Subway Second Ave. Sagas: A real estate spike, three years out

Second Ave. Sagas: A real estate spike, three years out

by Benjamin Kabak

Phase 1 of the Second Ave. Subway will open in 2016 and is already spurring on Upper East Side real estate deals.

If all goes according to plan, the official opening for the Second Ave. Subway will be in 35 months. Of course, knowing the project’s multi-decade history and the MTA’s penchant for delivering on time, that date is far from set in stone, but already, the subway is affecting the Upper East Side real estate picture. If the latest news is a preview of things to come, we’ll soon see that a subway through a developed and previously up-zoned neighborhood can still drive the market.

The story that broke last week involves a property on East 66th St. near Third Ave. It is, in other words, only a few blocks away from the new entrance to the Second Ave. Subway and F train that will open at 63rd and 3rd. Adrianne Pasquarelli had the story in Crain’s New York:

The increasing popularity of northern Third Avenue has led to the sale of a building on the corner of East 66th Street. Chicago-based real estate investment firm L3 Capital recently sold a four-story, 5,300-square-foot property at 1128 Third Ave. for $9.5 million to a local investor. L3 purchased the building about three years ago for around $6 million, according to Adelaide Polsinelli, the Eastern Consolidated senior director who negotiated the sale on the firm’s behalf.

She attributes the 58% jump in price in part to the forthcoming upgrade in the neighborhood’s transit options with the arrival of the Second Avenue Subway. “There is activity percolating in the area,” said Ms. Polsinelli. “The Second Avenue Subway definitely has impacted this in a positive way.”

The history of New York is, of course, replete with examples of transit spurring on economic development and creating more desirable places to live. Without the the subways, jobs wouldn’t be as concentrated in Manhattan as they are, and the city wouldn’t be nearly as dense or as big. We’ve seen the famous photos of the subway snaking through farmland in Queens shortly after construction on the Flushing line wrapped, and we’ve seen a marked increase in development activity near the spot of the 7 line’s new 34th St. on the Far West Side.

Now, we’ve received another reminder of the power of transit. People want it, and it drives up the desirability of real estate. Plus, developers and building owners are tuned in, and as the completion of Phase 1 of the Second Ave. Subway inches closer, we’re likely to see buildings change hands and retail rents on the Upper East increase. It’s hard to over-stress how much more convenient everything east of 2nd Ave. will become when the subway opens.

The key going forward for New York is to capture some of that value and help turn it into additional transit upgrades. Tax financing will help offset some of the costs of the 7 line construction (though considerable tax breaks given to developers will eat into that money), and the same should be done both north for Phase 2 and south for Phases 3 and 4 of the Second Ave. Subway. Perhaps, too, such an approach could work in areas of Queens and Brooklyn that are ready and willing to embrace subway expansion.

It’s easy to lose sight of the way transit has pushed New York’s development throughout the ages, and those who forget history do not stand to gain from it. We have a modern-day reminder of the power of transit. At a time when future expansion efforts are in doubt, the city, the state and the MTA should harness that economic drive to promote further growth.

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Walt Gekko January 5, 2014 - 10:20 pm

I do suspect they will have to look at extending Phase 2 all the way across 125th Street to Broadway-12th Avenue (possibly with some cut-and-cover work towards the end) as by the time such would be completed, Columbia University would be well on its way to its expansion being completed and such would be needed. Such an extension of Phase 2 could be set up to include transfers to the (2) and (3) at Lenox Avenue, the (A) (B) (C) and (D) at St. Nicholas Avenue (plus a connection to the 8th Avenue line that would allow for at the very least the option for 8th Avenue trains to use the SAS on G.O.s when needed as well as provide service from the SAS to Yankee Stadium for games if not having an SAS line go to the Bronx via the Concourse and/or an extreme upper Manhattan connection to the east side) and the (1) at Broadway. That to me would work.

Spendmor Wastemor January 6, 2014 - 12:05 am

Going across 125th makes a lot of sense, if the geniuses mapping it out will

i) Not jam the stations so close together. There’s already a local 1.5 blocks west which stops every train length or so.

Placing stations 3/4 to 1 mile apart is better for the 2nd ave line, and means a less tiring ride once the line is extended. Someone catching a train from 90th & 2nd walks a tick over a half mile now and I don’t see bodies piling up from this death march.

ii) Do not make the curve onto 125th so tight that trains are signaled to crawl towards it, then accelerate. Make the curve wide enough that the train can’t derail, thus MTA does not see a need to cover for drunk/sleeping TOs by implementing crawl zones on both sides.

Walt Gekko January 6, 2014 - 12:10 am

The idea here is all of the stations on 125th would include connections:

At Lenox Avenue to the 2/3

At St. Nicholas Avenue to the A/B/C/D (plus a track connection to the 8th Avenue line for reasons noted).

At Broadway for the 1.

This would allow riders of other lines to access the SAS, also taking some pressure off the 4 in the Bronx since there would be a transfer to/from the Concourse line to/from the SAS at St. Nicholas Avenue plus even possibly some peak-direction SAS service to/from the Concourse.

JMB January 6, 2014 - 11:35 am

Your propsed connection to the IND line (while awesome) would probably be the part that derails the whole thing…or at the very least jacks up the cost. Lots of underpinning I imagine, then the turn to the 8th/6ave lines then the rise up to the 2 unused tracks at 135th….I would be happy if they at least put provisions for that type of connection for future consideration.

But you are absolutely, 100% correct in that 125th needs to become a true crosstown route for all those who live uptown and the Bronx

Quirk January 6, 2014 - 2:18 pm

I agree that the trains should not crawl to 125th. There is a curve from Lexington Ave./63rd Street to 72nd Street, yes? That should not be a slow commute (turn) or else the MTA will not be able to reduce travel times by 10 minutes.

Alon Levy January 8, 2014 - 8:55 pm

You’re thinking about curves built in 1904. By the 1930s, the curves already got a lot gentler; the IND curves are already wide enough to not make trains crawl.

Elvis Delgado January 6, 2014 - 4:57 pm

They ought to build the junction at 125th and Second Avenue so that half the trains can go west, as described here, and the other half can go east. That would take them across Randall’s Island to the Astoria waterfront, where they could have relatively easy access to LaGuardia without disturbing the NIMBY’s in Astoria itself.

The Q might go to LaGuardia while the T went west toward Broadway. All it takes is a money, of course, and there’s none of that to be found.

Walt Gekko January 7, 2014 - 12:25 am

I like that idea VERY much. If the Port Authority got on board with an eastward route from 125th to LaGuardia (including a stop at Randalls Island which would probably do wonders for that area), they could help make it happen.

AG January 7, 2014 - 1:08 pm

It sounds good – but since Astoria fought the already planned and initially funded subway extension to La Guardia… why do you think that will work?
It might take the PA to do another Air Train over the expressway. Even Oakland and LA are getting airport connectors… JFK and Newark are decent (and Newark might get PATH directly) – but La Guardia is by itself. They are about to do a 2 billion dollar renovation… so something needs to be done.

BruceNY January 7, 2014 - 1:58 pm

I think a route heading from 125th to LaGuardia would skirt the edge of Astoria’s NIMBY’s, unlike an extension of the N which would start right in the middle of the neighborhood.

AG January 7, 2014 - 2:08 pm

would be nice if it could work…. you should suggest it to the MTA.

Elvis Delgado January 7, 2014 - 4:33 pm

Exactly! Looking at Google Maps, I see nothing but heavy industry (sewage plants, etc.) occupying a wide zone along the East River and the Sound. No one living in the residential area of Astoria further to the south is likely to even notice a railway line added to the mix, and if they do, it would be an improvement.

Eric January 7, 2014 - 6:09 am

That would be very expensive. Better to have the N/Q turn east at the Grand Central Parkway, and follow it to LaGuardia (mostly elevated, but ground level under the flight path). Destroy the last 500 meters of elevated tracks between GCP and the Ditmars Blvd station, the Astorians have already said it is a blight on their neighborhood.

AG January 7, 2014 - 1:09 pm

what you say is true – but then if you decide to demolish that 500 meters they will complain too.

Elvis Delgado January 7, 2014 - 1:18 pm

That’s a good plan too, but it creates a fairly long slog down the existing Astoria El, past Queensboro Plaza, etc. which the route east from 125th and 2nd could avoid. The new 2nd Avenue line is an express of sort, which – as Walt Gekko suggests – could be an attraction for the Port Authority. Every minute saved on an airport trip is likely to make it all that much more attractive to prospective users.

And as Walt also points out, a stop on Randall’s Island would be a big plus for access and development there. Finally, this could basically be a ground-level route (with bridge across the East River). There’s very little between the East River shore and the airport except sewage plants and the like, and if there’s anything on earth that can out-NIMBY a new transit line, it’s a sewage plant! 🙂

BSS January 7, 2014 - 6:16 pm

The only caveat with this idea – and it isn’t a bad one – would be that it would shift away from an opportunity to extend SAS into the Bronx and take some riders off all the IRT lines that all convene around ‘The Hub’, which would be a direct shot north from Second Avenue.

Bronxite January 8, 2014 - 6:36 pm

I would like the SAS and continue north and either replace the Third Avenue El or create a new elevated Port Morris-Lafayette Avenue line towards Throgs Neck.

However is it possible to plan for an eventual 3 way split? Crosstown 125th, LGA, and Bronx bound?

Nyland8 January 6, 2014 - 6:35 pm

It’s interesting that it seems so obvious to almost anyone who can read a map that the only place north of Central Park worth going cross-town just so happens to be the same street slated to have a subway connection to the Harlem MetroNorth Station – SAS Phase 2 – and that it should run cross-town.

One can’t help but feel that if the right hand of government knew what the left hand was doing, they would have made building a small terminal directly under the new Columbia University expansion at Manhattanville a requirement of getting construction approval. The university spent over a year doing earthworks on that site, and they’re not finished yet. It would have been a relatively simple matter to include a small 8 or 10 train layover yard – a la the IRT north of 137th St – under their campus, and I suspect they would have been thrilled to have it.

But there just doesn’t seem to be anybody with a down-the-tracks, big-picture view of things when it comes to the transit future of this city.

Sure, many people who frequent this blog can see the forest for the trees. But it seems as if most politicians – the ones who should have at least some power to influence these things – are all myopic in the extreme.

We could have already been well on our way to having a target for the T Train at 125th & Broadway. Instead, our great-grandchildren will still be taking the IRT from Van Cortlandt Park all the way down to mid-town, just to get over to 83rd and 3rd.

New York City mass-transit is like a craigslist “missed connection” for the ages.

AG January 6, 2014 - 9:58 pm

Disagree on the last point… SAS would be better off going up 3rd Ave. and/or Webster Ave. to replace the discontinued 3rd Ave. El in the Bronx.

Walt Gekko January 7, 2014 - 12:32 am


That would actually be part of my plan if I ever got to rebuild the 3rd Avenue El. A Bronx portion of that line would include an SAS line going up that route with a 3rd Avenue line route.

And yes, I do think having an SAS branch going across 125th (whether underground or elevated) to connect to the other lines (possibly including a physical connection to the 8th Avenue line) makes perfect sense. If I did ever get to rebuild the 3rd Avenue El, one branch of that would also go across 125th with an SAS line to a terminal at Broadway-12th Avenue.

Eric January 7, 2014 - 6:35 am

I would follow Morris Avenue up to 156th st, then appropriate the outer two Metro North tracks for a cheap connection as far as Fordham.

(Metro North doesn’t need those tracks – it has a maximum 13 trains per hour now, those can fit on one pair of tracks)

John-2 January 6, 2014 - 12:17 am

Would have been nice if they could have gotten a Daniel Doctroff comment for the story, since Dan was the one saying increasing real estate values is the only reason to build any new subway lines.

Looking ahead, you’d hope that the real estate value spikes for both the SAS and the Hudson Yards extension that Doctroff and his boss care so much about would be the impetus to push for funding the Phase II section for Second Avenue, especially since it can be pointed out to the public that much of that portion is already built and has been lying under the street dormant for 40 years.

Being able to see the actual benefits of the new lines in two different parts of Manhattan — as opposed to just hypothetically talking about the benefits — should be a major asset for SAS backers, but if the governor and the new mayor have other ways they want to spend city and/or state funding, all the positive economic news in the world connected to both lines won’t make any difference.

martindelaware January 6, 2014 - 7:41 am

Remind me again why we give tax breaks to developers who are making sick amounts of money regardless?

Larry Littlefield January 6, 2014 - 7:56 am

“Affordable housing.”

At one time, all new development in the city was eligible for huge property tax breaks. Then that break was taken away for gentrified areas of the city, starting in Manhattan. But developers could still get the break in the “exclusion area” if they build a small amount of “affordable housing.”

The net cost of the “affordable housing” is a fraction of the tax revenue the city loses. But if the city collected the tax revenues, it could be used for anything — lower taxes on others, infrastructure, etc. But with the break, “affordable housing” grabs the money off the top.

If you don’t like those priorities, you have the wrong Mayor.

David Brown January 6, 2014 - 9:07 am

If De Blasio was a true “Progressive” he would oppose any tax breaks for big business “Affordable Housing” included, and would follow Public Advocate Letitia James in suing to stop Charter Schools from sharing space with Public Schools (another Corporate Giveaway to anti-Union scabs (I would go so far as to ban them completely)). People on the right (such as myself), believe in NO Corporate Welfare, for the same reason that able bodied people should work, its is not fair to the people who do work and have to pay huge taxes to support them.

Hoosac January 6, 2014 - 9:34 am

“If De Blasio was a true ‘Progressive’ he would…”

He’s been in office since last Wednesday. I don’t see that he’s had a chance yet to take a position on much of anything, outside of generalities.

Bolwerk January 6, 2014 - 10:12 am

Didn’t he have an entire election season to take positions? Or is there just some unwritten rule that we are supposed to be surprised by the political views of people we elect? We should have learned this from Cuomo.

David Brown January 6, 2014 - 11:14 am

He said he has to make up his mind. He should have announced support for a Bill to ban Charters and any School that does not pay its employees a Prevailing Wage

Tim January 6, 2014 - 1:28 pm

With regards to Charter schools, I don’t think you have the slightest clue at how they operate. They currently develop kids to a much, much better standard than the public schools do. Kids in some of the poorest areas have almost no educational chance, but the ones who come out of charter schools perform grade levels beyond their public school peers.

What you should be asking is “Why are charter schools doing so much better than public schools?” Then maybe you’ll understand why the union is a problem.

Bolwerk January 6, 2014 - 2:32 pm

They also pick and choose who they admit, avoiding higher-risk kids who most need intervention. Yes, the union and its rigid culture is a problem, but charter schools are not exactly doing anything well-run public schools can’t do.

AG January 6, 2014 - 10:01 pm

Well generally speaking it is the concerned parents who fight to get their children into charter schools because many “normal” public schools are filled with children whose parents don’t care… Hence the behavior and social problems that exist.

Bolwerk January 6, 2014 - 10:36 pm

That may be, but it’s hardly a solution to the social problems that exist. They’re still there, with the added drawback that the kids who don’t get out have fewer positive role models.

AG January 7, 2014 - 12:51 pm

The problems are the home… at the end of the day parents have a greater impact than any peers. It’s no easy solution… but business as usual will only bring the same results. Fact is there are a whole lot of behavior and developmental issues. Kids whose parents want to strive shouldn’t be “forced” to not strive just because they can’t afford private school. This is a transit blog though – so I’ll leave the subject alone.

Bolwerk January 7, 2014 - 2:15 pm

It’s actually very relevant to transit. DOE can’t re-appropriate or fire redundant labor, or eliminate archaic processes, so they go and create a new bureaucracy that is somehow supposed to do a better job than the old one. The new bureaucracy is constitutionally incapable of addressing old problems, but can do an end-run around a few of them – even if it costs more.

Bratton is busy wrestling with the fact that the police department as the same issues. Maybe JSK was a little bit more of a change agent, but I’m sure Trottenberg is finding it too at DOT.

BSS January 7, 2014 - 6:22 pm

SOME charters develop kids to a better standard than regulation public schools. But as a whole, charter schools aren’t living up to the hype Bloomberg and many other advocates across the country have given them.

AG January 7, 2014 - 9:25 pm

It’s not just the Bloomberg’s of the world.. Grass roots educators who are NOT beholden to their unions or local politics are opening charter schools themselves:


Alon Levy January 8, 2014 - 8:59 pm

They currently develop kids to a much, much better standard than the public schools do.

[Citation needed]

AG January 6, 2014 - 10:05 pm

so wait – you think the teachers union has done a good job? going back to the 60’s I don’t think that’s been true.

paulb January 6, 2014 - 10:38 am

The city could eliminate the tax breaks and use the revenue to construct apartment buildings. Would the city manage those buildings? That would mean adding many new and expensive workers to the city rolls. Would it lease the buildings to private operators? To keep the apartments “affordable” wouldn’t the city have to book a loss? The housing topic makes my head hurt. It seems insoluble.

anon January 6, 2014 - 11:28 am

City gets tax revenue. Aquires land if necessary, builds apartments, both using tax revenue, and if necessary, revenue from bonds. Bonds backed by rental revenue from buildings. Hiring a super, fixing whatever breaks isn’t that expensive. Let the city contract out that work, with an annual vote by residents in the building. The contract to be rescinded and given to a new management company if the residents say they want someone new. Yea, this would be subsidized by the city’s tax revenue, but unless you want to rent out 2 bedrooms for $300 there wouldn’t be an operating loss. Do you really need to see capital expenditures as a loss?

Larry Littlefield January 6, 2014 - 2:29 pm

Again, the issue is political.

Yes, NYC could simply collect whatever taxes would be owed, use some of the money for affordable housing, and come up ahead. But then “affordable housing” would have to compete with other priorities.

AG January 6, 2014 - 10:02 pm

it is seen over and over – city after city than municipal governments are not good landlords.

anon January 6, 2014 - 11:03 pm

Put tenants in control. Solicit bids from management companies every year. If they don’t make repairs/take care of general upkeep of the building, then the next year the tenants can vote for a new management group. The city’s involvement wouldn’t be as central as at nycha

AG January 7, 2014 - 12:54 pm

There are plenty of low income co-ops subsidized by the city and state. They have plenty of problems because the still lack capital (and experience). I do business with some of them and see it. It’s not as easy as you think.

David Brown January 6, 2014 - 11:22 am

There is no need to make something “Affordable”, have Historical Areas, too many Regulations, Community Boards, or to have NYCHA for that matter (Think The City could get a lot of money buying out the Tenants, and selling off miserable Projects like Smith Houses and The Polo Grounds to Developers?). The Laws of Supply & Demand (Supply goes up and Demand goes down) would drive prices down. However, special interests do not want that, because it drives their values down as well, so it will not happen.

Bolwerk January 6, 2014 - 12:18 pm

Such a naive view of economics aside, unless you think there are shitloads of massive developers out there willing to eat the cost of demolishing much of the east side of Manhattan and the outer boroughs, you can’t possibly think the city can just liberalize its way out of things like NYCHA. The city spent literally billions creating the system in place today, condemning tenements and putting up projects, and it would take literally billions to dispense with that system.

SEAN January 6, 2014 - 12:51 pm

Remind me again why we give tax breaks to developers who are making sick amounts of money regardless?

No tax breaks, no building – plain & simple. I’ve sene that tactic on a regular basis. When the city of White Plains in 2007 raised the requirements on afordable housing units from 6% to 10% along with the fees on the buyout provision, nearly all multi-unit projects came to a halt & four projectts were canceled.

David Brown January 6, 2014 - 1:19 pm

Developers would pay if it was in Manhattan or close by like Queensbridge. Smith Houses in Lower Manhattan would go for at least several hundred million because it is waterfront property.

Bolwerk January 6, 2014 - 1:52 pm

Okay, and that’s what percentage of the problem? The most fucked up projects are probably in places like East New York. Smith Houses probably has a fair number of middle class whites who might be irked by such a move.

In any case, evicting and displacing that many people is rather non-trivial in the best of circumstances.

David Brown January 6, 2014 - 3:14 pm

Bolwerk, The worst Projects are actually in Coney Island, and I used to live near Smith Houses, and there are not a lot of middle class people there (White, Black, Asian or Hispanic). That said, the reality is if the Projects survived the 70s and Bloomberg they will survive anything (even another “Great Depression”). Whether they should or not? That is a different question.

anon January 6, 2014 - 5:45 pm

So much worse than the ones in the Rockaways or Brownsville?

Stephen Smith January 6, 2014 - 11:59 pm

You (and everyone else used to seeing the MTA casually blow half a billion dollars on a subway station repair job) would be surprised at how little value land in Manhattan has. As I recall, Bloomberg’s Land Lease plan to lease the land beneath all of Manhattan’s most valuable NYCHA projects was only expected to bring in $30-50 million a year in total. Very, very unlikely that Smith Houses’ developable land would be worth “several hundred million.” The land beneath 56 Leonard was only worth $140 million, and Tribeca is an infinitely more desirable location than a subway-less neighborhood where you’re surrounded by NYCHA projects and Chinatown. Waterfront don’t mean shit when you’re stuck in Two Bridges.

Bolwerk January 7, 2014 - 1:49 am

Fair point, but low hundreds may still be feasible depending on how zoning is set. Smith Houses is north of 10 medium-rise buildings, not a single lot, spread over what would be several blocks. In theory, a late phase of the SAS will pass by.

I would guess it boils down to: there are more lucrative fish to fry.

David Brown January 7, 2014 - 10:05 am

If you have ever done Mortgages you would know that what Real Estate Appraisers think, is not really what matters, but what the Customer will pay (which is generally based on future expectations). I can tell you that Extel is building High End Condos, on the former Pathmark property on Water Street, just north of the Manhattan Bridge, and by the end of the Decade, the waterfront from South Ferry North to 14th Street will be fixed up (including replacing the Butt ugly Pier 42). Also go check out Peck Street sometime. Trust me, if Smith Houses would be sold it would fetch a lot of money. Although it will not happen, nor will any NYCHA Property be sold to Developers (even Parking Lots). ps. I wonder how much Fulton Houses by the Chelsea Piers would go for?

AG January 7, 2014 - 1:02 pm

Chicago demolished it’s most notorious housing projects and made it into mixed income developments… LA is doing it in a couple of years with it’s Jordan Downs project (where the film Menace to Society took place) and turning it into a mixed income development. All the big cities are doing it except NYC – which has by far the most. I don’t expect that to change with the new administration. Matter of fact – even in New Rochelle just north of the city they did it. Sad sad sad. No matter where you are in the world – when only low income ppl are housed together it causes problems. Why do NYC politicians (minus Bloomberg and a few others) think they can make that reality different…??

Bolwerk January 7, 2014 - 1:46 pm

Even Baltimore is considering it. Like I always say, New York is literally the most conservative place in the USA. Dumb ideas from the 1930s and 1940s still are jealously guarded by the political and union classes, and are the only antidotes to the dumb ideas of the present.

However, besides a half-hearted attempt at selling some fallow land in projects, Bloomberg didn’t exactly attack this problem either. His strategy toward housing projects with containment and preservation, not replacement. And surely we can expect even less engagement from de Blasio.

AG January 7, 2014 - 2:06 pm

didn’t know about B-more… I know they and Philly are concentrating infilling all those abandoned lots (NYC’s problem of 30 years ago).

If I’m not mistaken – even when New Orleans had some of theirs destroyed with Katrina they rebuilt as mixed income areas.

Bolwerk January 7, 2014 - 2:30 pm

It’s one thing to be too poor to replace them, but I wonder if anyone outside NYC actually still thinks those are good or even acceptable ways to house people. They’re more dismal than the suburbs.

Elvis Delgado January 6, 2014 - 11:33 am


I do appreciate your sarcasm, “Knowing … the MTA’s penchant for delivering on time” indeed! If there’s anything the MTA is LESS inclined to do than “deliver on time” I certainly can’t think of it.

q January 6, 2014 - 12:33 pm

“MetroCard…remains a fixture in the pockets of more than 95% of our customers.” – http://new.mta.info/news-subwa.....d-turns-20

What’s in the pockets of the other 5%?

SEAN January 6, 2014 - 12:55 pm

Pot? Oh wait – this isn’t Colorado!

SEAN January 6, 2014 - 1:03 pm

What’s next? Oh, we’re working on something even better.

Oh, I wonder what that could be – a copy of Clipper or Ventra?

BoerumHillScott January 6, 2014 - 1:24 pm

Single ride tickets or quarters for a bus?

Carter January 6, 2014 - 4:04 pm

I would imagine they’re referring to people who just pay for individual trips.

BoerumHillScott January 6, 2014 - 2:11 pm

The city and MTA will capture some addition revenue through higher real estate transaction taxes, but to see an increase in tax revenue similar to the 7 extension (or Queens in after the Duel Contracts lines), massive upzoning and redevelopment is required.

Stephen Smith January 7, 2014 - 12:22 am

Given how built-out NYC is, I can’t imagine that any amount of upzoning short of reverting back to the 1916 code would really boost the total amount of citywide property tax revenues by any appreciable amount.

Larry Littlefield January 7, 2014 - 9:37 am

Fair enough. Of course the value of existing development could rise, if less affluent people were replaced by more affluent people paying higher rents/prices. But that raises a whole different set of issues. I don’t think using that as a way to pay for SAS Phase II will get very far.

Bolwerk January 7, 2014 - 12:35 pm

Aren’t there are parts of the city right next to subway stations where it’s illegal to build even four stories? I, for one, can’t see why five or six stories is ever an inappropriate height, at least not without incredibly compelling reasons to maintain the historical character of the buildings for aesthetic reasons (maybe in Ridgewood?).

BoerumHillScott January 8, 2014 - 8:57 am

Boerum Hill got downzoned last year, including the block where an entrance to the Atlantic/Barclays stop is.

The limit is effectively 3-4 stories.

marv January 7, 2014 - 12:30 am

Before providing additional service to areas that already have subway service (and creating a line that goes from the westside (at 125th) to 2nd avenue and then back to 7th Avenue in all but 68 blocks), the 2nd avenue subway should be extended to provide service where none presently exists. Options include:

*up 3rd Avenue in the bronx
*out to the throgs neck section of the bronx
*east to laguadia and then into the whitestone section of queens or east along the LIE

Walt Gekko January 7, 2014 - 6:40 am


The plan to go across 125th Street on the west side has EVERYTHING to do with the Columbia University expansion. That is the main reason for going all the way across 125.

AG January 7, 2014 - 1:18 pm

don’t forget Metro North Hudson Line is looking to put a stop on W125th (i’m sure partly because of Columbia)

AG January 7, 2014 - 1:12 pm

I agree… except about Throggs Neck. they downzoned the area so it wouldn’t make sense to put a subway now since you won’t get the density. I do think the area can certainly do with light rail though. It would be less expensive and match the density better. Throggs Neck is a lot like Staten Island or Bayside and Whitestone in Queens.

Bronxite January 8, 2014 - 6:58 pm

Throgs Neck is dense enough for rapid transit. Also, that would be the terminal neighborhood. The communities surrounding Lafayette Avenue to the West in CB 9 are very dense and need access to the system.

I imagine the Bronx spur of the SAS

(Elevated over Metro North Row?)

•A stop in the Port Morris Area
•A stop in the Mott Haven Area

(Elevated over street)

•Hunts Point/Lafayette Aves

(Bridge over Bronx River, with bicycle/pedestrian path slung under)

•Boynton/Lafayette Aves
•Soundview/Lafayette Aves
•White Plains Road/Lafayette Aves
•Castle Hill/Lafayette Aves

(Bridge over Hutchison River)

•Lafayette Ave/East Tremont Ave
•Just South of Randall Ave/East Tremont Ave
•Harding Ave/East Tremont Ave (Terminal Station)

Bronxite January 8, 2014 - 7:09 pm

I just thought another option would be to split the SAS East And West under 125th but then again split the eastbound line over Randall’s Island, one line heading toward LGA, another toward the South East Bronx elevated above the ROW starting with Hunt’s Point Ave at Lafayette Ave (See above for continued stations).

AG January 8, 2014 - 7:23 pm

Subway expansion is too expensive now to consider Throgs Neck. Unless there are areas that can be up-zoned it doesn’t make financial sense. Light Rail would be the better option for the east Bronx. A light rail line that maybe goes from the 138th stops at the Concourse and 3rd. Ave to connect to the 2,5,6 and then heads south to Bruckner Blvd… then taking Bruckner Blvd. east all the way maybe the old Whitestone Cinema or directly north from that spot to Tremont Ave… That might work and would basically make all the stops you listed.

Even along the Brooklyn waterfront light rail is being proposed as a viable option.

The dense 3rd and Webster Ave. corridors would make better sense for an SAS extension.


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