Related is Selected as Rail Yards Developer

Another big Rail Yards announcement this morning: the Related Companies have stepped in where Tishman Speyer dropped out earlier this month.

Related’s original proposal included the preservation of the entire High Line, including the spur over Tenth Avenue and the entire 30th Street section, which might have been demolished in Tishman Speyer’s plan. Though we haven’t seen the terms of their current agreement with the MTA, we hope they’ll stick with full preservation, fulfilling the first, and most important, of our principles for the High Line at the Rail Yards.

Developer in Deal With MTA to Develop West Side Railyards [City Room]

Related Cos. wins Hudson Yards Deal [Crain's]

Related, MTA Said to Reach Deal for Rail Yards [Observer]

It’s Official: MTA/Tishman Speyer Talks are Dead

After a last-ditch effort to get their West Side Rail Yards negotiations back on track after Thursday’s announcement, Tishman Speyer was unable to sway the MTA.

The MTA’s statement today was short and sweet. In its entirety:

The MTA met today with Tishman Speyer. Despite the best efforts of both sides, a final agreement could not be reached. The MTA has now re-entered discussions with other interested developers and remains committed to timely development of these unique and valuable parcels of land on Manhattan’s Far West Side.

It’s widely believed that the most likely developer right now is the partnership of the Durst Organization and Vornado Realty Trust.

Hudson Yards Talks Fail Yet Again [Crain's]

Breaking: Tishman Speyer Rail Yards Deal Falls Through

Negotiations between the MTA and Tishman Speyer have collapsed, according to the MTA, following a request from the developer to change the terms under which the project would be financed, as well as the project schedule. An agreement on the 26-acre site could not be reached.

Tishman Speyer was selected to develop the rail yards last month, after an eight-month bid process. Theirs was the high bid, at $1.004 billion, beating out the only other major contender, a joint partnership between Durst and Vornado.

Tishman Speyer was reportedly apprehensive about closing on the Eastern Rail Yards before the Western Rail Yards were rezoned, a process requiring public review and City approval on several levels. A rezoning is necessary for the developer to complete its massive high-density residential and commercial plan, and adds another variable to a project already troubled with the recent loss of an anchor tenant and an exceedingly complex financing plan.

A spokesman for Tishman Speyer insisted that the developer would continue to negotiate with the MTA to see if the differences could be worked out. A meeting is set for Monday, but the MTA is reportedly considering reopening negotiations with at least one of the four other developers who originally submitted bids.

Deal to Build at Railyards on West Side Collapses [NY Times]

MTA, Tishman Speyer Call off West Side Rail Yards Wedding [Observer]

Yardsmania: MTA Dumps Tishman Speyer, Chaos Ensues [Curbed]

Breaking: MTA Selects Tishman Speyer as Rail Yards Developer

rail-yards.jpg 

The MTA announced today that it has selected Tishman Speyer as the developer for the West Side Rail Yards. This announcement ends a 6-month bidding process, which originally involved 5 competing developers. Tishman Speyer outbid the only other remaining contender– a joint venture between the Durst Organization and Vornado Realty Trust– by $112 million, offering to pay $1.004 billion for the rights to develop the 26-acre site.

Read the Mayor’s Press Release

Tishman Speyer Wins Hudson Yards Bid  [Crain's New York Business]

Tishman Speyer’s initial bid plan for the rail yards can be seen here. The developer is working with architect Helmut Jahn, landscape architect Peter Walker, and master planner Cooper Robertson. They plan to build 10 million square feet of commercial space, 3 million square feet of residential and leave 13 acres of open space.

Given the sudden change in gubernatorial administration, many thought the rail yards bid process would be delayed, so the MTA’s announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise. Tishman Speyer’s anchor tenant, Morgan Stanley, reportedly dropped out of the deal earlier this month.

Tishman Speyer’s plan preserves most of the High Line, but proposes to demolish the spur over Tenth Avenue, and part of the section along 30th Street.

Statement regarding the MTA’s selection of Tishman Speyer as the developer for the West Side Rail Yards

Friends of the High Line commends the MTA’s, Governor Paterson’s, and Tishman Speyer’s commitment to preserving the majority of the historic High Line structure at the rail yards, and we look forward to working with all parties to ensure that the remaining sections– the spur over Tenth Avenue and the full section along 30th Street– are preserved as well.

The treatment of the High Line in Tishman Speyer’s bid shows considerable progress from the days when it was presumed the site could not be developed without its demolition. We applaud the MTA, Governor Paterson, and Tishman Speyer for their recognition of the High Line as an asset. We are encouraged that they now share our vision of a continuous walkway, connecting the new residential, commercial and open space at the rail yards with the gallery district of West Chelsea and south to Gansevoort Street, that will be the next great city public park for New Yorkers and visitors alike.

We look forward to working with Tishman Speyer and the MTA to ensure full preservation of the entire historic High Line structure, including the spur over Tenth Avenue– almost 1/3 of the rail yards section. Additionally, we hope to work with the leadership of the Javits Center to ensure that a pedestrian easement is preserved on the 33/34 block, north of the rail yards site, so that the High Line may extend to connect with the Javits Center and the planned #7 extension.

We owe a great deal of our success so far in this process to the tireless support of our elected officials: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Governor David Paterson, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Borough President Scott Stringer, and State Senator Tom Duane, as well as the advocacy efforts of Manhattan Community Board 4, and our Friends of the High Line volunteers and supporters. Our rail yards advocacy would not be possible without the generous financial support of the A.G. Foundation, the Greenacre Foundation, the Leon Levy Foundation, John and Wendy Neu, and Wendy Keys and Donald Pels.

  

The State of the MTA: Crowded

MTA MTA II

This morning, MTA Executive Director Lee Sander gave the first ever State of the MTA address. However, despite RSVP’ing last week, I wasn’t able to make it inside, along with a bunch of other heartbroken transit enthusiasts. Bummer. Above are some shots of the huddled masses gathered outside of Cooper Union’s Great Hall moments before we were turned away.

If you, like me, weren’t able to make it inside, you can check out the speech in its entirety on NY1.com. Sander announced $30 million in new service changes this year, including:

  • A new bus route, the M13, which will go from the Lower East Side to Midtown
  • Increased service on the G, 1, 4, 6, and 7 trains
  • Sustainable initiatives like more hybrid electric buses
  • New focus on transit-oriented development

Cityroom has more on the grand plans.

BREAKING: Brookfield Not Submitting a New Bid

Brookfield Properties has announced they have not submitted a second bid for the Rail Yards site. Supplementary bids were due yesterday.

Back in January, the MTA asked the five developers to submit supplementary materials supporting their ability to lease, not buy, the 26-acre site. None of this financial information was made public.

Brookfield’s decision not to submit new materials knocks them out of the running for lead developer of the site, but according to a source, they still may be considered as partners in the development. Brookfield recently announced another large-scale development on Ninth Avenue, only a few blocks from the Rail Yards.

There was coverage today in the Times and the Observer.

Crain’s: MTA Should Pick Most Financially Sound Developer

Unsurprisingly in the wake of the subprime crisis and general market shakiness, much of the Rail Yards dialogue has turned away from design and towards financials.

Of course, guessing is a bit tough, given the MTA’s refusal to make the financial bids public (which the HYCAC called for as part of its summary of top community concerns).

Background on the financial situations of each of the developers has led to a lot of speculation over which one would be the surest bet for the MTA, an agency that knows its way around fiscal headache.

A Crain’s editorial recently endorsed Related and Tishman Speyer for the site, pointing to anchor tenants to add heft to the deal:

There are no more resourceful, experienced or financially solid real estate companies in New York. Their tenants—News Corp. for Related and Morgan Stanley for Tishman—offer a strong likelihood the project will get off the ground.

The Crain’s site is for subscribers only, but the complete editorial is after the jump.

The MTA still plans to announce a decision by the end of March.
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