Plans to reconstruct a New York school with a high-rise condo development on top have riled neighbors, arguing that the plan would grossly violate zoning restrictions.
"For structural and aesthetic reasons, the members say, they cannot build on top of the synagogue, and so they want to transfer its air rights to the school. They then propose demolishing the school and replacing it with a 28-story tower, in which the 10 lower floors would be used for an enlarged school and the upper 18 for luxury condominiums. By selling the condo floors to a developer, supporters of the plan say, the school can defray some of the cost of rebuilding, estimated at $80 million."
"Tom Blum, who leads a group called Neighbors Against Ramaz Tower, opposes this plan."
"'It bothers us that a religious school is playing real estate games the way Donald Trump does,' Mr. Blum said, 'not as they should be doing as a good neighbor.' He emphasized that there was unconditional support for building a new Ramaz school, but he said that the plan for a residential tower above it had come as a shock."
"With the combined air rights, the tower would rise more than 100 feet above what the applicable zoning currently allows."