NEW YORK | Ending the Residential FAR Limit

“…The proposal, which would end “floor area ratio” caps, passed the state Senate housing committee last week and could be approved as soon as next week, the New York Post reported.”


The world capital roars on!

I am a bit confused as to what this means, though. I was under the impression that you could build as high as your development rights indicated you could. IE: 300,000 square feet, you could build a short box or a taller tower, depending on the footprint. I am confused on where FAR comes into play.

Could you help me, Robert?

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FAR is what determines (at least in new developments) the total buildable rights – the simplest way to think about it is as a multiplier of the surface area of the site.

So if I have assembled a 10,000 sqft site, and it’s zoned for an FAR of 15, I could build 150,000 sqft in the new development. Those 150,000 could be distributed over as many floors as I’d like, within the bounds of whatever other zoning restrictions there might be (like total height caps, setback requirements, etc.)

If this measure were to pass, it would mean that a 10,000 sqft site could be turned into a million sqft or however much square footage be developer wanted – but still bounded by the same local zoning restriction, whatever the market makes feasible and what the limits of engineering makes possible.


I’m John Boehner, and I approve that message!

This could be, perhaps, the most important news of this entire building boom yet! What are the chances of this getting passed and how quickly do you think we would start to see its effects?

I assume something like this is critical to fix the housing crisis, so I would hope it gets passed asap!

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WOW! Thanks for the lesson, MarshallKnight!

Incredible news.

Thank you, Billy D!


This would be a total game changer & this should have the nimby’s shaking in their slippers.

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I quickly perused the story, but it seems to be a done deal!

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NIMBYs right now.


I think this would have a major effect on Hudson PH II, and maybe a PH I project not already underway. (I cant remember if the big PH I residential project is already U/C or not.

Could also be a big deal for WTC 5 if they go residential on that.

I would be interested to know which neighborhoods this would affect most. I am assuming it will be pointless in some places with a myriad of other zoning restrictions.

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Places that would benefit are the areas where you are allowed to build tall such as all of Financial District/WTC and both Midtown and the Hudson Yards.

Places where there are height restrictions, such as Greenwich Village, SoHo, West Village, East Village, Upper East and Upper West etc would IMO not be impacted.

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what about places like 2 bridges? NIMBYs there are in a furor already, I am tracking they have no height restrictions and FAR was the only thing capping building construction.

I also thought some of those places used FAR to cap building heights.

Good news. Finally some reasonable legislation.

Very encouraging news! :beers: Especially the Hudson Yards is in need of a real signature tower. Who knows, maybe we are in for a surprise re: Phase II.

give me a 2000 foot all residential tower please. 2200 units. We can call it the big house.


ok so trying to wrap my head around what this means.

So if this passes the whole residential zoning is irrelevant? So in what was once a R-3 zone I would be able to build a 12 FAR building unless that district had other specials rules like buildings being contextual or not penetrating the skyline. Is this correct?

Places like midtown, downtown, hy, and probably a few others that have no such rules (because they are all commercial zone which allow residential), so its basically infinite FAR and the only cap would be what the FAA would permit?

ya trying to get a good answer on this. I think the 300K square feet itself was calculated using FAR. So with no limits you could double the height and build 600K on same site.

I saw the bill was submitted by State Senator Ramses II. which district does he come from? Found a picture off his bio



Awesome !!!