Access to MTA Land

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is a private corporation that owns parcels of land that may be the roofs of subway tunnels, or properties close to railroad tracks. Either way, development is unlikely on these properties and unless neighbors jump in, they may remain vacant for decades more.

The MTA is willing to work with neighbors to convert their properties into valuable neighborhood spaces, they just need a few things:

  • Get in touch with Christopher Nesterczuk (, the MTA real estate fellow, and let him know what you're interested in doing.
  • Find an organization, land trust, or another entity that can sign a lease with the MTA on behalf of the neighbors.
  • Reach out to an architect who can draw up your group's vision. The architect must be able to officially stamp the drawings or pass them on to another architect who can.

We've worked with three groups who have successfully accessed MTA land to open up community spaces. Check out their pages to learn more about their land access journeys: Smiling Hogshead RanchQ Gardens, and BACDYS Community Garden.