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NYguy Jan 14, 2007 3:31 PM

NEW YORK | Hudson Yards; 40 msf of development
With land available for large office construction in Manhattan scarce, the City has turned to its last "frontier" - the West Side of Manhattan - to expand the commercial core. Known more for its lowrise character and parking lots, the Hudson Yards redevelopment will transform this last frontier into a vital piece of the City's future growth.

This will be aided in part by the extension of the number 7 subway line, at last bringing the subway service into this otherwise "desolate" area of the city.

The City will also cover two large, open railyards with development and open space. A major new boulevard - Hudson Boulevard - will be the center of the new commercial and residential construction.





NYguy Jan 14, 2007 3:43 PM

The early planning once included a home for the New York Jets football
team. A vote by the Public Authorities Control board required unanimous
approval for the state's share of contribution to the stadium. Sheldon Silver,
concerned about lack of progress at the WTC site, decided to vote No on the
state's aid. As a result, though a relatively small part of the overall pricetage
for the stadium, it proved too costly for the JETS, who will now share a new
stadium in the Meadowlands with the New York Giants.

The Hudson Yards redevelopment meanwhile, continues to move forward.

Older rendering of potential development (with stadium)

Photos of the model presented at the Center for Architecture

Towers in the MSG and Brookfield development sites

Path of the new Hudson Boulevard

hoosier Jan 15, 2007 3:30 PM

I like the boldness of the plan, I just hope the new skyscrapers don't detract from the Empire State Building.

NYguy Jan 15, 2007 4:42 PM


Originally Posted by hoosier (Post 2565796)
I like the boldness of the plan, I just hope the new skyscrapers don't detract from the Empire State Building.

They will. The Empire State was built in 1931. It's not reasonable to expect cities to have reached their peak (skylinewise) over 7 decades ago. Look at it this way, how many cities now have tallest that were built in 1931?

drew11 Jan 19, 2007 1:45 AM

more pictures

NYguy Jan 19, 2007 1:39 PM

The West Side as it appears today:

Site of Convention Center hotel

drew11 Jan 20, 2007 9:09 PM

here is a photo of where most of the largest developments will be. hotel penn, m.s.g brokfield, maybe two penn plaza, the last building to the western railyards next to the brookfield site, railyards, and the largest site in the large scalie plan. also the subway station and the photo was taken on top of the empire state building.

NYguy Jan 21, 2007 10:18 AM

Daily News

Copa loses cabana for the third time

The Copacabana nightclub on the West Side will be demolished to make way for an extension to the No. 7 train line, but its owner has vowed to reopen in a new home.

"We aren't closing," said owner John Juliano, who has to vacate the building by July1. "I mean, maybe we have to renovate a new space. That may take some time, but we're coming back."

The first Copa opened in 1941, and the one on W. 34th St. near the Jacob Javits Convention Center is its third incarnation. Barry Manilow immortalized the club in his 1978 song "Copacabana."

"And it still is the most famous name in the world," Juliano said.

Jonathan Lemire and The Associated Press

2-TOWERS Jan 21, 2007 5:11 PM

they blew it ,what we....N.Y.C.,could of had, :P

NYguy Jan 22, 2007 11:20 PM


Hell's Kitchen residents fight for subway stop

By Justin Rocket Silverman and Chuck Bennett
January 22, 2007

The MTA is playing a "shell" game with the No. 7 extension that it will regret for years to come, agency officials and transit advocates warn.

Late last year, the MTA quietly dropped plans to create a new station at 10th Avenue and 41st Street because of budget worries. Instead, the extension will create just one stop, at 10th Avenue and 34th Street, and a "shell" of a station for future development at 41st Street.

That's an outrage, MTA watchers say, because it cheats residents and businesses of a much-needed stop.

"Do it as you build the line or it will never get done otherwise," said Andrew Albert, a nonvoting rider representative on the MTA board.

Albert and the New York City Transit Riders Council are scheduled to hold a news conference Monday morning along with elected officials to demand the creation of the 41st Street station.

"Thousands of people live in the area. They deserve a station," Albert said. "Its an insult to watch the trains whiz by your neighborhood."

Even worse Albert said, the MTA's own bean counters estimate, that if they build the 41st Street station now it would cost $200 million, but to wait several years to build it the cost could easily top $400 million.

Last November, the MTA said it will only build a "shell" of a station that could be converted into a functioning station at some point in the future.

City Hall, whose main concern is providing subway service to its West Side Yard development plan, is providing $2.1 billion, but the MTA is on the hook for the inevitable cost overruns.

Albert said City Hall should use its budget windfall to create the station. The one-stop extension is scheduled for completion in 2012 with construction scheduled to start in December this year.

Newly installed MTA executive director Elliot "Lee" Sander has earlier this month that he will review the concerns about the 10th Avenue station.

Residents and local business owners were miffed at being stiffed out of a new station.

"For the people in the neighborhood, it's a huge injustice that they are not going to put a subway stop here," said Bob Leventhal, owner of the 42nd Street Wine Loft at the corner of 10th Avenue. "The people here deserve it."

Hell's Kitchen resident John Hoover, 80, said its unfair to be bypassed.

"The people here need it," he said. "I have to walk 15 minutes to the Port Authority every time I want to get a train."

danger_doug Jan 25, 2007 5:00 AM

^That is asinine. Build the 10th Ave stop or at least 11th... it's silly to go straight from 8th and 42nd to 11th and 34th. It will spur MORE development.

James Bond Agent 007 Jan 25, 2007 5:14 AM

My father works in the building between the Brookfield site and the eastern yards. It's a pretty dead neighborhood. This should be a huge boost to it.

NYguy Jan 25, 2007 2:27 PM

^A lot of media companies in that building, including the Daily News..

The MTA has decided that the full stop will likely be built at 10th Ave so that's good news.

NYguy Feb 4, 2007 7:12 AM

NY Times

Residential Towers to Sprout Soon on Far West Side

A rezoning of a 310-acre stretch of factories, parking lots and warehouses on the Far West Side has led the way for plans for residential towers.

February 4, 2007

The developer H. Henry Elghanayan likes to be at the head of the line.

He said that his company, Rockrose Development Corporation, was one of the first to build new residential towers in Lower Manhattan and the West Village and at Queens West in Long Island City and Battery City Park.

This month, Mr. Elghanayan will be the first developer to start building a residential complex on the Far West Side of Manhattan, which is the direct result of the Bloomberg administration’s rezoning of a 310-acre stretch of factories, parking lots and warehouses for large-scale development two years ago.

Rockrose is constructing 44-story and 24-story apartment buildings on opposite sides of 10th Avenue, between 37th and 38th Streets
, in what has been officially renamed the Hudson Yards district. “Once people see that we are indeed going forward,” Mr. Elghanayan said, “you’re going to see an explosion of growth in that whole area.”

Builders are already flocking to the once-sleepy Hudson Yards, an area crisscrossed by bus ramps and Lincoln Tunnel entrances.

Indeed, a half-dozen developers plan to start residential projects there in the next six months, with a combined total of nearly 6,000 apartments, 20 percent of which will be for low- and moderate-income families.

There are also five slim-budget hotels either under construction or in development on the block bounded by 39th and 40th Streets, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues.

Most developers say that commercial towers will be slower to follow in a district that stretches from roughly 30th to 42nd Streets, west of Eighth Avenue. But Brookfield Financial Properties is talking to at least one investment bank interested in its office site on Ninth Avenue, between 31st and 33rd Streets.

City officials say they are making progress on plans for the $2.1 billion extension of the No. 7 subway line from Times Square to 11th Avenue and 34th Street, which, they add, will spur the development of office towers in the area. The Bloomberg administration sold $2 billion in bonds in December, much of it for the subway project. It hopes to issue the tunneling contract later this year and begin construction.

The city is also working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to devise a plan for selling the development rights over the West Side railyards, which sit on both sides of 11th Avenue, between 30th and 33rd Streets. “There’s an extraordinary amount of activity going on, precipitated by high rents in Midtown,” said Daniel L. Doctoroff, deputy mayor for economic development. “You’re really beginning to see the outlines of what Hudson Yards is going to look like.”

But just north of the yards, the fate of the long-planned expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is up in the air again, at least temporarily. Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s administration has said that the convention center is one of several projects “under review.” According to hotel industry executives and city officials, Mr. Spitzer has questioned the wisdom and cost of the $1.7 billion project, in part because of the vertical nature of the expansion, which runs counter to the horizontal layout of most convention centers.

Critics contend that adding floors to the convention center could make it more difficult and expensive to present successful trade shows and conventions. Some state officials prefer an expansion that would go south, over the West Side railyards.

That, however, would clash with the Bloomberg administration’s plan to develop residential and commercial towers on platforms over the railyards. It could also affect the three developers and hotel operators who submitted competing bids to build a 1,500-room hotel across 11th Avenue from the convention center.

But it remains to be seen what the Spitzer administration will do with the convention center after the review. Patrick J. Foye, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, declined to comment.

Mr. Doctoroff said he respected the governor’s right to evaluate the project and would participate in those discussions.

“There will be no ideal solution as long as Javits is still there and you want to continue to operate it during construction,” he said. “We continue to believe it is a very good solution and we ought to go ahead with Phase II at the same time.”

The second phase, however, could add $1 billion to the price and require closing the convention center for several years. The hotel industry has no enthusiasm for raising the $1.50 a night room tax dedicated to the expansion plan. City officials have suggested raising the tax to $2, noting that average room rates soared 12.6 percent last year.

Mr. Doctoroff and the transportation authority have met with real estate developers and community leaders to discuss the eventual sale of development rights over the railyards in August. The initial plan called for rights to be sold to one or two developers, who would build platforms over the yards for residential and commercial towers. But most developers now say that government should finance the platform construction, which could cost $1 billion.

There is also debate over whether the development rights should be sold to one developer, or divided and sold to a variety of builders, a strategy that could generate more money over time for the transportation authority.

Developers also want the city to demolish the elevated railroad line, known as the High Line, that hugs the western and southern perimeter of the railyards. That proposal is opposed by several community groups, which want to see the entire length of the High Line converted to a park.

In the meantime, the residential juggernaut continues. The developer Joseph Moinian is starting work on a $760 million, 60-story apartment tower on the north side of 42nd Street, west of 11th Avenue, next to his 46-story Atelier condominium tower.

Directly across 42nd Street, Larry Silverstein is close to starting construction of two 58-story glass towers, where 20 percent of the 1,276 apartments will be set aside for low-income families.
An adjacent 16-story building will have 83 apartments for moderate-income tenants. The new buildings will be next to the River Place complex that Mr. Silverstein built in 1999.

All five buildings, designed by the architect Costas Condylis, sit within the Hudson Yards district. The area differs from most of the district in that developers have long been able to build high-rises along 42nd Street.

At the southeast corner of 10th and 42nd Street, Stephen J. Ross, chief executive of Related Companies, said he expected to start construction this spring on a roughly 60-story tower with 500 apartments, 250 hotel rooms and a set of theaters.

The Dermot Company said it would start building its $450 million Hudson Mews project, two 18-story buildings over platforms on opposite sides of 37th Street, west of Ninth Avenue, along with a public park. Stephen Benjamin, a principal at Dermot, said the company was completing its financing and negotiations with the Port Authority to buy development rights over ramps leading to the Lincoln Tunnel.

Farther east, on the north side of 37th Street, Glenwood Management plans to break ground later this year for a 24-story building with 550 apartments.

Jeff Levine of Douglas Development expects to start this spring on a 34-story building with 370 apartments just outside the Hudson Yards district, at the southeast corner of 30th Street and 11th Avenue.

Like most of the developers, Mr. Moinian is bullish on the future. He has bid in partnership with the Marriott hotel chain to build the convention hotel and banquet hall. He also owns two sites for commercial projects in the area, although he cannot begin construction for at least five years because the sites lay within the path of the subway extension.

“Our commitment to the area is very, very strong,” Mr. Moinian said. “There’s no question that this is the next part of town where the action takes place.”

Dartagnan Feb 6, 2007 12:46 AM

Skyscaper for Hudson Yards Development Site #5?
Anyone know anything about the commercial Skyscraper planned for Hudson Yards zoning plan "development site #5" which is on the west side of 10th Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets?

NYguy Feb 7, 2007 12:38 PM

NY Post


The Daily News Building (above) at 450 W. 33rd St. has been sold.

February 7, 2007 -- SCOTT Lawlor's Broad way Partners have swooped in and tied up 450 W. 33rd St. for north of $700 million.

The chunky former John Hancock Building is being almost entirely recapitalized by Joseph Chetrit and his investors through Douglas Harmon of Eastdil Secured.

A slender tower of about 800,000 feet can be added to the 1.7 million foot chunky, sloping structure that's home to both the Daily News and the Associated Press wire service.

Harmon confirmed to us the deal went to contract but would not discuss any of the details of the complicated transaction.

"They are evaluating how best to maximize the value of the assets," Harmon said of Lawlor's group.

As we revealed in last week's column, the building was on the market but it has become obvious that buyers have to move fast to grab that brass ring.

NYguy Feb 14, 2007 12:42 PM

NY Times

M.T.A. Says It Can’t Handle Cost Overruns on No. 7 Project

February 14, 2007

The new leadership of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority signaled yesterday that it had deep concerns over a deal with the city to build a $2.1 billion extension of the No. 7 subway line, saying the authority did not have the money to pay for possible cost overruns or other additional expenses.

“It is M.T.A.’s position that we are under no legal obligation to absorb any additional costs or overruns,” Elliot G. Sander, the new chief executive, wrote in a letter to Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, a Westchester Democrat. He was responding to a letter from Mr. Brodsky expressing concerns that the project could exceed its budget. Mr. Brodsky made Mr. Sander’s letter public yesterday.

In an interview yesterday, Mr. Sander said he would not grant any contracts to proceed with the work until the financial issues were hammered out.

Under the project, the No. 7 line, whose western terminus is Times Square, would be extended to the Javits Convention Center on the West Side. The city and the authority signed a deal in September in which the city agreed to pay for the project and the authority agreed to be in charge of design and construction. The city, however, capped its contribution at $2.1 billion.

Mr. Sander said the authority’s long-term spending plan for major projects was already handicapped by widespread cost increases.

“At this point our position is that if there are cost overruns, we’re not in a financial position to be able to assume those,” Mr. Sander said. He said paying for any part of the No. 7 extension could jeopardize other projects, like the Second Avenue subway, a Long Island Rail Road link to Grand Central Terminal, and maintenance of the transit system.

He said other unbudgeted costs had to be considered, including a projected $150 million for new subway cars needed to run on the extended line. Mr. Sander, who inherited the deal when he took over the authority in January, said he spoke yesterday to Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development, to explain the authority’s position.

“We want to get it done, but we have to work through these financial issues,” Mr. Sander said.

Mr. Doctoroff said the discussion was premature because there was no indication that the project would exceed its budget. “Our view is that we certainly had an understanding and that the city would be responsible for all costs up to $2.1 billion and that the M.T.A. would bear the responsibility for costs above that,” Mr. Doctoroff said. “We’re going to sit down and talk, but our view is, the deal is the deal.” Both Mr. Doctoroff and Mr. Sander said they believed that the project would go forward.

Mr. Brodsky, the chairman of an Assembly committee that oversees the authority, said in an interview he feared that hidden costs could harm the authority’s bottom line.

“If we keep to the basic principle, which is the city will pay and the M.T.A. will build, we’ll be O.K.,” Mr. Brodsky said. “But right now there are hundreds of millions to almost a billion dollars of costs that the M.T.A. would probably have to absorb that would endanger the Second Avenue line, the East Side link and other parts of the capital program, and that is simply unacceptable.”

NYguy Apr 13, 2007 11:37 AM

Finally, back to the railyard development...

NY Sun

Colossal Plans for Hudson Yards
City Soon To Request Proposals

April 13, 2007

The city is about to unveil its preliminary proposal for the 26-acre Hudson Yards site over the MTA's rail yards, a colossal development that is said to include about 13 million square feet of an undetermined mix of residential and office space.

The project, which could be handed over to a single developer, would be substantially larger than either the World Trade Center redevelopment or the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn.

Nearly two years after the city lost its bid to build a stadium on the West Side site, the Bloomberg administration and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the rail yards site, will come forward with design guidelines at the end of the month, a city official said. It plans to issue a request for proposals in May.

At least four major developers are working on bids for the mega-project, according to the president of the Real Estate Board of New York, Steven Spinola. The cost of the project — including the task of building a platform above working rail yards — is so high that Mr. Spinola said developers could seek to partner with pension funds or private equity funds to foot the bill. He said current market conditions and the expected abundance of office development around Penn Station to the east would probably lead a developer to build mostly apartment towers.

Numerous officials and others involved in discussions say there are many points of contention regarding the brisk timeline and design guidelines, particularly the MTA's insistence on flexible guidelines that do not offer specifics about the makeup of buildings or infrastructure. By not setting out detailed requirements for a developer, the MTA could expect to attract higher bids, though community leaders say issues such as "affordable" housing and public infrastructure should be agreed upon at this point in the process so as to ensure its eventual approval through the city's uniform land use review.

"It's an extremely ambitious project in terms of its size, and it's also ambitious in terms of its time frame," Mr. Spinola, who has been involved in discussions regarding the guidelines, said. "The MTA is anxious to have the deal done, and done quickly."

The giant swath of land west of Pennsylvania Station is one of the last remaining large undeveloped spaces in Manhattan. Despite the failed stadium bid, numerous projects such as the no. 7 line subway extension, the pending expansion of the Jacob Javits Convention Center, and improvements to Hudson River Park would reinvent the area west of Midtown when combined with a development over the yards.

The site atop the existing rail yards was a cornerstone of the city's failed bid for the 2012 Olympics, as it would have included the main stadium on the western half of the area and a cultural center and office towers over the eastern half.

After the bid failed in mid-2005, the city eventually negotiated a deal with the MTA in which the transit authority would take responsibility for the bidding process, and any new development would go through the city's land use review process. The city initially wanted to buy the western yards from the MTA, though it dropped its plan late last year and settled on the existing plan, for which future developers will give payments in lieu of taxes to help fund the no. 7 subway line.

The land over the eastern half of the rail yards was rezoned in 2005, and the current design guidelines being created pertain only to the western half, which would be rezoned by the developer or developers that win the bidding process.

In order to create a project of this scale that could successfully move through the city's land use review process, the MTA and the city agreed to create the designs with significant input from stakeholders including the development industry, the City Council, and the community.

While the various parties have yet to reach an accord, the city and the MTA are still hoping to request bids on the project starting next month.

To the concern of community members, the city appears to be leaning toward demolishing a stretch of the High Line, which could be transformed into an elevated stretch of parkland on the western half of the yards.

"I would like to see as much of the High Line stay up as possible," state Senator Tom Duane said in a phone interview. "I know that there are other stakeholders that don't necessarily agree with that."

The chairwoman of a land use committee at Community Board 4, Anna Levin, who has been involved in discussions with the city and state, said that while the city has been pushing against the High Line, the MTA has been working to create a site plan that lacks specificity, a point that several officials involved in the process have confirmed. Ms. Levin said she and others have been pushing for the design guidelines to include specifications about affordable housing, building placement, the inclusion of infrastructure, and a school.

Restrictions on construction can limit developers' expected returns, and thus bids for the project would likely be lower than without the regulations. While there have been some differences and the timeline has been accelerated, Ms. Levin said she does not believe the project is highly contentious.

A spokesman for the MTA, Jeremy Soffin, said the agency is committed to working with the city and other parties to find a solution "that will provide vital funding of the MTA's capital needs and ensure a wonderful addition to the West Side community."

It is thought that bids for the development could bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to the MTA, and the agency's seemingly aggressive push for a more lucrative plan is consistent with the Spitzer administration's pledges to exact more from developers in large projects on public land.

While revenue for the MTA is important, the president of Manhattan, Scott Stringer, said in an e-mail that other needs have yet to be worked out.

"We still have a ways to go — especially on affordable housing and open space — before we have the consensus needed to move forward," Mr. Stringer said.

The city plans to disclose its initial design guidelines at a public meeting at the end of the month, according to an official familiar with the process. From there, the city is aiming to issue its request for proposals by the end of May.

The requests for proposals are for both the eastern and western halves of the rail yards, and the city official said the project does not necessarily have to be completed by a single developer.

Once the developer is selected, it will conduct an environmental review and seek project approval from the City Council and the city's planning commission.

Scruffy Apr 13, 2007 6:02 PM

end of the month. OK awesome. this is exciting. 13 mil sq feet!

austin356 Apr 13, 2007 6:55 PM

Is the zoning still the same as outlined in the OP links? For some reason I thought I saw those a few years ago, and was wondering if everything is the same?

Well personally I think the FARs are to stingy. I mean come on, Atlanta, one of the worlds most suburban cities, has base FARs of over 30. I really think the area would be best off by not having any restrictions on density, or at least absurdly high restrictions such as FARs of over 50.

There is very little space to develop in the whole nation, let alone Manhattan, to do such a project, and it should accordingly be done to its absolute greatest potential. If they zone it supertalls will come!!

Overall, imo, it is just sad to see what could be one of the best urban districts in the world, be instead limited to a standard urban district.

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