Save the Spur Video and Rally Recap!

The turn-out of High Line supporters for Monday’s Eastern Rail Yards Public Forum was great: more than 200 people rallied at Midtown’s Red Cross in favor of preserving the entire High Line, including the Spur over 10th Avenue. Supporters wore red “Save the Spur” T-shirts and held signs during a presentation by The Related Companies, the designated developer at the rail yards.

The Spur, a portion of the High Line that crosses 10th Avenue at 30th Street, is still clearly under threat of demolition. Almost every speaker voiced strong support for preserving the entire High Line at the rail yards, including elected leaders US Representative Jerrold Nadler and New York State Assemblymember Dick Gottfried. Related gave no concrete answer as to why the spur would need to be torn down, only that the spur is “large and dark.”

On a promising note, the building on the Western Rail Yards that was previously shown blocking the High Line’s western views was not in the plans shown on Monday night.

With your help, we will continue to put pressure on the developer, the City, the MTA, and Governor Paterson. Please stay tuned to our E-mail Newsletter for updates on what you can do to help us Save the Spur.

Thanks to everyone who came out on Monday night to show that the Spur, like the rest of the historic High Line structure, must be preserved and integrated into the rail yards development.

Breaking: MTA Selects Tishman Speyer as Rail Yards Developer

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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.