Manhattan Community Board 4 and HYCAC developed this document to synthesize information about the MTA’s guidelines for the rail yards site, as well as overviews of the five proposals. It was intended for discussion at the December 10 public forum, but serves as a good reference for comparing the plans side-by-side.
As promised, here’s a quick discussion of the break-out sessions moderated (in some cases) by members of Friends of the High Liine at the community forum presented by Community Board 4 on Monday. The graph above represents some of the main concerns expressed by the various groups (there were 13 groups in all, so you can get a feel for what concerns people most). Some surprises: That the parking and traffic issues generated by a project of this scale fall so low on the list of priorities for its neighbors, and that job creation (surely not something that is the responsibility of real estate developers?) gets almost as much attention as does that of affordable housing. One thing that’s not shocking in the least is the fact that the pure size of the project gets so much attention and concern, although one might argue that at this point there’s no stopping the behemoth on that score. You can view the Working Group Conclusion Summaries for more detailed information about the conclusions the break-out groups reached. Please do tell us where your priorities lie in the comments.
Friday is the last day of the public exhibition of all five developer proposals, in a storefront near Grand Central. The exhibition includes design boards, models, and last time we checked, a representative from each developer on hand to answer questions. Those details again:
Rail Yards Proposals Exhibition
335 Madison Avenue
(Northwest corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and 43rd Street)
Across from Grand Central Terminal
Daily, 8:00 AM– 8:00 PM Until December 14
The exhibition frequently runs out of comment cards, so if you’re heading there, make sure you bring your own paper.
The MTA has been a bit ambiguous on when the public input period officially ends (the exhibition was extended by two weeks due to demand). If you can’t make it to the exhibition tomorrow, you can still view the proposals and comment online.
Like all New Yorkers of a certain age who are mildly obsessed with urban planning and real estate, we spend a lot of time curled up by the fireplace with Curbed. What’s more, the city’s premiere site for snarky commentary on the business of building has been a great resource for information about the rail yards redevelopment process so far. So it was nice to see that they shouted us out today. But hey, Curbed – who said anything about getting scorned? Though it’s true that we’re living in an era of problematic large-scale projects, there’s still time to be optimistic that the process will be more open and transparent, and productive, than those other yards. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves with the doomsaying.
(click photo to enlarge)
A view looking Southwest at the working rail yards, taken shortly after the High Line was built (date and photographer unknown). Note the boxcars; the rail yards were originally used for freight, but are now used for Long Island Rail Road trains. The Miller Elevated Highway can also be seen, to the right.