6. Grand Central Terminal Sued Over Air Rights

Grand Central with One Vanderbilt behindPhoto by Max Touhey

One Vanderbilt was conceived as a building that could showcase the grandeur of Grand Central Terminal, but it was actually sued by none other than the historic station itself. The owner of Grand Central Terminal, Andrew Penson, sued SL Green, New York City Council and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration in 2015 for the development of One Vanderbilt after he unsuccessfully tried to sell his air rights, or unused development rights, to SL Green.

The rezoning and transportation deal struck between de Blasio and SL Green was opposed by Penson who then filed a $1.1 billion lawsuit over deprivation of his property rights. The reasoning was that SL Green did not buy air rights connected to the terminal from Penson. The lawsuit was settled a year later, after SL Green paid Grand Central Terminal’s investment group a sum, according to The New York Times, and the construction of One Vanderbilt was allowed to continue.