On Display: Plans For The Hudson Rail Yards

Last month, I wrote about the MTA seeking & receiving bid proposals for the rights to develop the Hudson Rail Yards. The 26 acre land is highly sought after real estate where plans call for turning the area into a huge waterfront destination filled with everything from businesses to residences mixed in with shopping for everyone.

Yesterday the MTA issued a press release stating the 5 proposals will be on public display in the form of an exhibit. The exhibit will take place between the hours of 8 a.m. & 8 p.m. every day from today November 19th until December 3rd. The only day the exhibit will be closed is on Thanksgiving Day. The exhibit is located at 335 Madison Avenue which is a storefront that can be accessed at the corner of 43rd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue.

Here is the entire press release courtesy of the MTA:

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced the opening of a public exhibition of the proposals the agency has received for development of its rail yards on Manhattan’s Far West Side. The exhibit will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday, November 19 through Monday, December 3, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day.

The exhibit will be held at 335 Madison Avenue, a storefront that can be accessed at the corner of 43rd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue.

“We are very excited to be able to present these proposals to the public for their review and feedback,” said Elliot G. Sander, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the MTA. “We are committed to incorporating public input into the selection process as we look for a proposal that will provide critical funding for our capital plan and tremendous benefit to the city.”

The exhibit, which is located directly across the street from Grand Central Terminal, features models and other presentation materials prepared by each of the five development teams: Brookfield Properties Developer LLC; Extell Development Company; Hudson Center East LLC and Hudson Center West LLC (A Joint Venture of Vornado Realty Trust and The Durst Organization, Inc.); The Related Companies; and TS West Side Holding, LLC (A Joint Venture of Tishman Speyer and Morgan Stanley). Comments will be accepted via comment card at the exhibit beginning on Monday, and online in the near future.

The input will help inform the selection process. The proposals are now being reviewed by a selection committee with a majority of its members appointed by MTA and with two representatives from Hudson Yards Development Corporation. The recommended proposal(s) for each yard will then go to the MTA Board for consideration in the first quarter of 2008.

The Newsday also has an article about the exhibit. Here is the full article courtesy of Newsday:

NEW YORK – Still smarting from a failed bid to build a New York Jets stadium on Manhattan’s far West Side, city and Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials are inviting the public to examine models of five proposals to develop the 26-acre site atop rail yards on the edge of the Hudson River.

“This development will allow us to expand our central business district,” Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said Sunday at an event to introduce the five development teams and their models. “And what we’re seeing here with these five wonderful submissions is that the market is speaking and is validating the vision that we’ve shared for the Hudson Yards.”

The models will be displayed at a storefront across from Grand Central Terminal through Dec. 3.

One proposal, from Tishman Speyer, would include a new headquarters for investment bank Morgan Stanley. Another, from Related LP, would have media and entertainment giant News Corp. as its anchor tenant. Conde Nast would be the biggest tenant under the plan submitted by the Durst Organization in a venture with Vornado Realty Trust.

The other two developers are Extell Development Co. and Brookfield Properties Developer LLC.

All of the plans include a mix of office and residential buildings, green space and cultural amenities, in accordance with guidelines the developers were asked to follow.

Extell President Gary Barnett said his project is unique because the buildings would not be on top of the rail yards.

“Our project essentially builds almost all of the structures on terra firma surrounding the yards,” he said. “We’re using this special bridge technology, which is essentially building suspension bridges.”

Architect Rafael Pelli said the Durst plan would include a proposal for a shuttle train that could carry up to 20,000 people an hour from Pennsylvania Station.

The Brookfield plan would include two apartment towers joined midway up by a belt that would comprise a fitness center’s covered running track.

Financing was not discussed Sunday, but the winner likely will have to spend about $1.5 billion to build platforms over the existing rail yards, billions of dollars in construction costs and well over $500 million for the development rights.

The city hoped its plan to develop a football stadium at the site would serve as a linchpin to host the 2012 Olympics. But residents objected to the tax burden of the $2 billion stadium, and members of a state board that rejected it worried that the planned office space would compete with development downtown at the World Trade Center site.

Doctoroff said the current plans should not elicit the same objections.

“Unlike the previous situation, where money was being contributed by the city and state to the project, in this case money will be contributed to the city and state as a result of this process,” he said.

MTA Executive Director Elliot Sander said officials have had extensive discussions with community representatives and elected officials over the plans.

The proposals are to be evaluated by a committee chosen by the MTA, which runs the nation’s largest mass transit system, and the Hudson Yards Development Corp., a body created to develop the site. The MTA board is to consider the recommended bid by March 2008.

I definitely plan on checking this out soon & reporting back with pictures if possible so stay tuned!

xoxo Transit Blogger

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