LONG ISLAND CITY — The MTA board voted to sell unused development rights from one of its Queens properties for nearly $56 million to a developer planning to build the borough's tallest building.
Through the deal made on Wednesday, the developer of a proposed 70-story apartment tower will be able to build up to 77 stories instead of the 38 the current zoning at the site allows, and up to 490 additional apartments, according to the MTA board documents.
Once the sale is finalized, the MTA will transfer 478,000 square feet from an MTA-owned lot at Northern Boulevard and 40th Road to the development group Queens Plaza Park Development LLC, which includes Property Markets Group and The Hakim Organization.
The sale is expected to go through in the next month or two, an MTA spokesman said.
Property Markets Group declined to comment on the deal and The Hakim Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
During the meeting on Wednesday, MTA board members debated whether to require the developer — and those in similar deals to purchase or use MTA land — to include affordable housing as part of the agreement.
As of now, affordable housing requirements are not part of the terms, but the board is making plans to develop an affordable housing policy in the next few months that would apply to similar deals in the future.
Queens Plaza Park Development plans to build the 70-story apartment tower at 29-37 41st Ave., including 930 apartments, a health club, swimming pool and retail space, according to plans filed with the Department of Buildings.
The same developer also owns the former Bank of Manhattan building next door — known to locals as the Clock Tower — which the city is planning to consider for possible landmark status.