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.

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One Response

  1. I am not surprised that someone is dropping out of the bid process at this point. I am surprised that Brookfield would drop out. Brookfield was quite certainly the public favorite in terms of an exciting design with multiple streets extending the Manhattan street grid with intricate sensitivity to pedestrian life. It also had the best treatment of the High Line creating an East West running High Line green space with free standing High Line that would have been exceptional when the summer sun set on the river.

    When Brookfield announced a few weeks ago that it was breaking ground on its other project, also over the rail yards just to East (with only one intervening block), it seemed to be a hopeful indicator of Brookfield’s robustness, vigor and commitment to this area. Now it seems it should have been interpreted as something else: But what? What happened? The eastern development could have integrated with a Brookfield development of Atlantic Yards development in an exciting synergistic (street extending) way. All the more reason not to drop out.

    The public certainly has legitimate overall concerns about the development of Hudson Yards, principally the backbreaking effort by government to cram density onto the site: see the sentiments about the Yards design that City Council Speaker Quinn, Senator Duane, Borough President Stringer and others expressed in their January 8, 2008 open letter to the MTA from the Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee. (The density planned for the Yards, though greater is only slightly more than the overall significant increase in density planned for a widely surrounding area.)

    With Brookfield dropping out, the Related Companies’ plan moves to the front as the best design from the standpoint of what the public appreciates. It partakes most of the qualities that made the Brookfield plan best. But it was a notch below the Brookfield plan. Therefore, the gap between what the public might want (see again the open letter to the MTA) and what the public is on track to get may have widened.

    Let’s hope that Related has made revisions to its plan, for instance an improved handling of the East West running section of the High Line on the south of the Hudson Yards site so that Brookfield dropping out will not deprive us of too much potential public benefit.

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