Christ Church United Methodist in Manhattan is $30 million richer. The source of the bonanza? Air. More specifically, it sold the air space above the church.
The buildings around the church, which are taller than the church, are the maximum height allowed by the city’s zoning laws. The church actually “owns” (or did own, prior to the sale) 70,000 square feet of vertical space above the church that the church had not used. It sold the space to a developer for $430 a square foot. The developer can then transfer that space to an adjacent building and construct additional stores on top of it.
And Manhattan isn’t the only city in America where this is happening. Other cities from the East to the West Coasts are doing the same thing.