Here’s an interesting article on how in new condo developments, unit owners don’t actually own the land their condo building sits on.
So what’s new? For various reasons (to allow for a hotel within the building, to allow the developer to retain an ownership interest in the property, etc.), large condo towers these days (such as Washingto Square Towers in Bellevue, Olive 8, and several others) are built “on” air, detached from the earth. If you bought one of those condos, you don’t own any dirt at all — only the building and airspace above the ground. Say WHAT?
Here’s how it works (again speaking generally — every project differs in the details, I am sure). The developer will create two parcels: a parcel on the ground, up to a certain height, and an “airspace” parcel above that. These are separate legal parcels, each with their own Parcel Number. The condo will be built in the “airspace” parcel. Owners will have an easement across the “land” parcel to guarantee access to their home in the “airspace” parcel above. I guess this could be described as a “man’s castle in the sky”.