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Hudson Yards and “The Fate of the Far West Side”

Yesterday, Crain’s reported that the MTA wants to lease the Hudson Yards site rather than sell it. On Monday the MTA sent out letters to the five teams outlining its preferred deal structure. Theresa Agovino reported:

“A source at one developer said the MTA was caving in to public pressure not to sell the property, which includes active MTA rail operations. But the MTA spokesman says that under a 99-year lease agreement the developer would still control the site…Still, the source at the developer said that the MTA is asking for a piece of the profits that will come from leasing the office and residential buildings that will be built on the site. He couldn’t say exactly how much it was requesting.”

Maintaining public ownership of the Hudson Yards site is in the public’s interest, but what is really needed is a coordinated plan – one that defines Moynihan Station as a catalyst - with more transparency about the public costs.

At a panel discussion last night on the West Side at the Museum of the City of New York, former MTA chairman Richard Ravitch lambasted the lack of coordinated planning in the Hudson Yards area. According to Norman Oder at the Atlantic Yards Report, Ravitch “criticized the MTA for its ‘shortsighted’ desire for revenue” and stressed that public land was an important public resource.

We filmed the panel - stay tuned for some video clips.

Read “MTA prefers leasing Hudson Yards,” by Theresa Agovino for Crain’s

Read Norman Oder’s recap at Atlantic Yards Report.

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Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee Sends Open Letter to MTA

The Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee submitted an open letter to the MTA with its concerns about the project. According to Friends of the High Line's Rail Yards Blog, concerns include "the planning process at large, including the lack of infrastructure and affordable housing planning, the megablock configuration, the threatened High Line, and the extreme density allowed on the site. HYCAC also urges the MTA to make the financials of the bids public, which has not been a requirement of the process."

Read the Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee’s Open Letter to the MTA, courtesy of Rail Yards Blog

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Assemblymen Brodsky and Gottfried Conduct Hearing on West Side Projects

Yesterday, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky conducted a hearing on West Side development with civic groups, including the MAS, community boards, and business organizations. A major point of discussion was the possibility of building a new convention center over the railyards in Sunnyside, Queens now that the Javits Convention Center expansion plans have been substantially curtailed. Other topics included financing the No. 7 line extension and state ownership of the Hudson Yards site. We strongly believe that Moynihan Station will catalyze West Side development – if the State plans for the long-term, invests in infrastructure, and maintains land ownership.

Read “A Javits in Sunnyside?” by Amy Zimmer in Metro

Read “A Sunnyside Convention Center? Javits Advocates Say Fuggettaboutit” by Eliot Brown in New York Observer’sThe Real Estate

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Ada Louise Huxtable Lambasts Hudson Yards and West Side Planning

Yesterday, Ada Louise Huxtable wrote about Hudson Yards in the Wall Street Journal. “It is hard to believe that teams with this much financial heft and assembled star power could come up with something so awesomely bad,” she said. “The city thinks like a developer; that vision thing, the long-term overview, the balance of private investment and public utility and amenity, is just not there.”

“The most disturbing aspect of this high-stakes game is the default of the city and the public agencies involved: their failure to create – or is it simply disinterest? – a coordinated plan for a West Side bursting with development from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden to the Javits Center, allowing these cobbled up investment schemes to substitute for any appropriate, larger solutions.”

Click here to read "Plenty of Glitz, Little Vision," by Ada Louise Huxtable.

Click here to read the Rail Yards Blog on Ms. Huxtable's column.


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