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Old Posted Jan 23, 2009, 6:31 PM
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MTA in Rail Yard trouble

by patrick arden / metro new york
JAN 23, 2009

The MTA is still counting on $1 billion from the sale of its West Side rail yards. But the centerpiece of the city’s Hudson Yards development plan now faces an uncertain future, just nine days before a contract deadline.

“Very sensitive” is how MTA CEO Elliot Sander described negotiations with the Related Companies on Wednesday. Related is supposed to put down a $50 million deposit next week, at a time when banks have grown increasingly tightfisted.

Related’s Stephen Ross, chair of the Real Estate Board of New York, was lobbying lawmakers last month in Washington, D.C. REBNY President Steven Spinola said developers want help from the $350 billion remaining in financial-industry bailout funds to refinance their loans.

“If [new] loans are not available, it could have an even more devastating impact on the nation's economy than the mortgage crisis,” Spinola said.

This week Ross completed his purchase of the Miami Dolphins, leading one Florida newspaper columnist to marvel, “What a country we have, where Ross can ask for hundreds of millions in welfare with one hand and plan to buy a $1.1 billion football toy with the other.”

A Related spokeswoman said Ross isn’t involved in the bailout effort and the Hudson Yards “continues to move forward.” In 2006, the city backed $2 billion in bonds to extend the 7 line to the Hudson Yards. Former Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff called it “the best investment in our future.”
NEW YORK heals.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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