Breaking: MTA Selects Tishman Speyer as Rail Yards Developer


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.



7 Responses

  1. When you have Tishman Speyer for your friend you don’t need enemies.
    Despite the nice electronic fountain at the Rockefeller Center skating rink,
    TIshman Speyer should not even have been allowed to bid for this job until
    the lawsuit by the tenants at Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village is
    decided, as to whether or not T-S ” acquired ” the property illegally. It was
    originally supposed to go to the tenants so they could make it a co-op and
    preserve affordable housing. They managed to raise over FOUR BILLION
    dollars to buy it. Naturally Tishman Speyer can out bid anyone. Look at this
    recent debacle. So although the LAW requires that they be given first crack
    at buying the buildings, not for profits, but to preserve their homes, 11,000 middle class and middle income apartments will now become home only to investment bankers and hedge fund employees and assorted Yuppie Scum
    instead of continuing on as a bastion of middle class family living in NYC, something that is going the way of the dinosaur and snail darter. Just watch your backs. These people will try to reverse the High Line yet, up and down its entire length if they can. Don’t tell me that they can’t because it would be
    ” illegal. ” ” Illegal “: is their middle name.

  2. […] The people involved in that park seem pleased as well. “The treatment of the High Line in Tishman Speyers bid shows considerable progress from the days when it was presumed the site could not be developed without its demolition,” writes High Line Blog. […]

  3. I, too, have my doubts about Tishman Speyer as the accepted plan. I have to believe, given Tishman’s reputation in the city, that some government hands were greased with cash. Hardly the most inspiring of the submissions on display this past winter and, sadly, hardly a surprise from the city of new york planning commission.

  4. […] development from a community-based planning perspective – Friends of the High Line says that the plan preserves most of the High Line, and FOTH has pledged to work with the developer to ensure preservation of the entire […]

  5. […] 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 […]

  6. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  7. Can you point me to where I might see photos of the rail yards at 67th – 59th sts and West End Ave in the 1920s?
    My mother in law grew up there and we have been discussing her memories of living on 67th and, later, at 7 West End Ave.

    Thank you

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