Join LinkedIn to get the latest news, insights, and opportunities from over 3 million companies. Type an address into Oasis and it will show you a detailed map of the surrounding blocks that you can customize to reveal a variety of helpful information, including property ownership, parks and other features. And there are convenient links to the Web sites of several New York City agencies, including the Department of Planning, the Department of Finance and the Department of Buildings. While the buyer of a co-op pays a transfer tax, neither the amount of tax paid nor the sale price is made public.
Here too, you can plug in an address to retrieve a map of the area, with links to the Web sites of various agencies that can tell you a building’s block and lot number, the police precinct, the school zone and Buildings Department information. You can also search on Acris for recent deed transfers within an entire tax block, a good way to learn about sales of similar apartments or houses in a neighborhood.
Another helpful departure point for your data search is a privately operated Web site called PropertyShark, a sort of one-stop-shopping site that culls information from a number of city sites. It can be more user-friendly than some of the city Web sites but in many cases it does not give you direct access to scanned documents, like deeds, or detailed summaries of filings, like construction plans, that are provided by the city. It can be fascinating and addictive – in an informative or voyeuristic way – to see what you can discover online about your neighborhood and your neighbors.
An online reverse directory, a phone book that lets you search by address, like the one at , can also provide a list of the names of people in a building, or at least those with listed numbers. There are several sources for information about what is being built or what could be built in the city. Building permits are filed with the Buildings Department and made available online through the department’s Building Information System. The system can also tell you if a property has landmark status, what the zoning is, and if it has outstanding violations from the Buildings Department or the Environmental Control Board.
Once you know the zoning designation, you can go to the Web site of the Department of City Planning to find out what it means. Zoning rules, however, can be complex, and the best way to understand the zoning for a property or area may be to ask the experts. The department operates a Zoning Information Desk on the third floor of its headquarters at 22 Reade Street, in Lower Manhattan, which takes questions in person or over the telephone at (212) 720-3291. It should be remembered, however, that developers or property owners can seek exceptions to the zoning that could allow for larger buildings. Google NYC school custodians corruption inspector general report from the 1990s.