View Poll Results: What proposal would you like to see built for Hudson Yards?

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  • Brookfield: SOM, Field Operations, Thomas Phifer, SHoP Architects and Diller Scofidio & Renfro

    64 65.98%
  • Durst / Vornado / Conde Nast: FXFowle and Rafael Pelli

    11 11.34%
  • Extell: Steven Holl

    8 8.25%
  • Related / Goldman Sachs / NewsCorp: Kohn Pedersen Fox, Arquitectonica and Robert AM Stern

    8 8.25%
  • Tishman Speyer / Morgan Stanley: Helmut Jahn

    6 6.19%
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Thread: Hudson Yards

  1. #196

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drexel
    Does anyone know about the project at 455 West 37th Street..the previous map shows a building with 500 units to break ground next year...any renderings?
    NY TIMES
    No Stadium, No Problem: West Side Is Getting Hot
    By CHARLES V. BAGLI
    June 12, 2005


    "The Rockrose Development Corporation, which has become the largest property owner in the district in recent years, is putting together three large development sites, including both sides of 10th Avenue between 37th and 38th Streets, for as many as 1,400 apartments. The company told community board officials it hoped to begin construction this fall."


    Permits have already been filed for a 24 story tower designed by Handel Architects.
    http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/Jo...hous=&allstrt=


    Recent news mentioning the possibility of the tower being upped to 32 stories.
    Community Board 4 votes against new park in Hell's Kitchen 06-APR-06
    http://www.cityrealty.com/new_developments/

  2. #197

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    July 7, 2006
    City Offers $500 Million for West Side Railyards
    By CHARLES V. BAGLI

    The Bloomberg administration and the City Council have offered to pay $500 million for the development rights to 26 acres of railyards on Manhattan's Far West Side, the site of a titanic but unsuccessful battle last year to build the world's most expensive football stadium.

    Officials hope the proposal will spur development on the Far West Side, a low-scale neighborhood of factories, tenements and parking lots that city officials and developers regard as a last frontier in Manhattan. If a deal is struck, the city will also be able to ensure that any development there is consistent with a comprehensive rezoning plan approved by the city last year.

    The unexpected offer came in a letter to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the property, from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn. The two had been adversaries in the battle over the mayor's plans to build a $2.2 billion stadium for the Jets, but they joined forces in an effort to bring the property under municipal control.

    "The city must work to create a mixed-use commercial and residential district, one that protects existing residents, businesses and manufacturers while also creating new employment opportunities, affordable housing and parks," Ms. Quinn said yesterday. "It will allow our community and city to have control over the future planning and development of the site."

    Peter S. Kalikow, chairman of the M.T.A., said in a statement yesterday that the authority would "give serious consideration to the city's proposal." He said he had been committed to cooperating with the city, but added that the authority's principal interest was in getting top dollar for the property "to support our ongoing enormous capital needs." The authority's latest budget includes $1 billion from the sale of land and other assets.

    Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, who has headed efforts to oversee the M.T.A. and other authorities, said the city's offer might conflict with recent legislation intended to ensure that publicly owned land is sold for the highest price.

    "We know the price they're willing to pay, but we don't yet know the value of the land," Mr. Brodsky said. "We intend to be very vigilant about this. We're considering hearings and a close analysis of the transaction."

    The railyards sit on the east and west sides of 11th Avenue, between 30th and 33rd Streets. In a two-step transaction, the city would buy the western railyard for $300 million, $50 million more than the Jets had agreed to pay to build a stadium there. The city would then devise a zoning plan for the 13-acre property and take it through the city's land use review process.

    The city is also offering to pay $200 million for 3.42 million square feet of unused development rights from the eastern yard. The transportation authority intends to build a platform there, which is already zoned for commercial and residential buildings, as well as a cultural institution.

    With the city rezoning the area, developers have been buying property on the Far West Side for large residential projects for several years. Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said there was also considerable interest in developing office space, because rents are soaring and there are few large blocks of space available for rent.

    "We want to ensure that we produce a plan for the western railyards consistent with our overall vision for the area," he said.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  3. #198

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    Wrong, wrong, wrong. The City's job is to free up the zoning and then let the free market make the best use of the property. The City should not be in the business of real estate development. NYC has an ample supply of real estate moguls to handle that task.

  4. #199

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    I think what's going on here is that the city wants to get this site under it's zoning control. The MTA is a state agency. As such, it could allow the site to developed outside the city's land use regulation. If the city buys the site, it gets control.

  5. #200

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    July 8, 2006
    Spitzer Says City's Offer for Railyards Is Too Low
    By DIANE CARDWELL

    Eliot Spitzer, a candidate for governor, attacked yesterday the city's proposal to pay $500 million for development rights at the railyards where the Jets had hoped to build a football stadium.

    "This is an amount grossly under market value," Mr. Spitzer, the state attorney general, said in a statement released by his campaign office. "Any sale of an asset of this magnitude, size and value must only be approved after a process that is open, transparent and provides an opportunity for public bidding."

    Mr. Spitzer also criticized the request from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the land, move on the sale by the end of this month.

    If elected governor, Mr. Spitzer would hold sway over the authority and its finances. By injecting himself into the fight, he could be trying to assure the authority gets top dollar in the deal.

    A spokeswoman for Mr. Spitzer, Christine Anderson, said that Mr. Spitzer could not give a fair market value for the property because that was something that should be determined only by an open bidding process.

    The 26-acre property runs from 30th to 33rd Streets between 10th and 12th Avenues, and its value was a much-debated component of the tortuous quest to build a $2.2 billion stadium on its western half.

    During that battle, the authority put the value of the western yard at nearly $900 million, and sought $300 million from the Jets, reasoning that the stadium would use about a third of the development rights. The authority rejected the Jets' initial offer of $100 million but accepted $250 million, an offer that came after the sale was opened to other bidders.

    Mr. Spitzer called the city's proposal only "marginally closer to fair market value than the $100 million the Jets offered last year."

    The city is offering to pay $300 million for the development rights to the western yard, and $200 million for 3.42 million square feet of unused development rights from the eastern yard. The city also plans to pay the $350 million or more that it would cost to build a platform that would allow for construction over the site.

    By gaining control of the development rights, city officials hope to ensure that any development on the western parcel is consistent with a comprehensive rezoning plan approved by the city last year.

    "The city has made an offer that is beneficial to all parties involved — the city, the M.T.A. and the West Side community," said Jennifer Falk, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bloomberg. "The decision by the mayor and the speaker to send a joint letter reflects the vital importance of this proposal for the future of New York."

    Ms. Quinn, who had fought the mayor on the stadium plan but joined forces with him to bring the property under city control, echoed that sentiment.

    "We think the best way to have a fair, open and transparent process is to make sure the public is involved in the planning and development of the site every step of the way," Ms. Quinn said yesterday in a statement released by her office.

    She added, "Allowing a private buyer to acquire the last significant publicly owned open space in Manhattan, without any requirement as to what is developed there, will not necessarily foster the preservation and development of the affordable housing or create the mix of residential, commercial and park space this area vitally needs."

    Although Mr. Spitzer said of the proposal that "a sale of this proportion without public discourse would be wrong and inappropriate," he is generally in favor of the $3.5 billion Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, which opponents have said was a deal done largely in secret.

    Ms. Anderson said Mr. Spitzer agreed that there were "valid concerns about the course of the project" and was "open to discussing them with the community," but he believed it would bring needed jobs.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  6. #201

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    July 26, 2006
    M.T.A. to Consider Railyard Bid
    By THOMAS J. LUECK

    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board is expected today to consider New York City’s offer of $500 million for development rights to 26 acres of railyards on the Far West Side of Manhattan, the site of the city’s failed attempt last year to develop a football stadium for the Jets.

    The authority, which received the latest offer this month in a letter from City Hall, has not brought it up for public discussion before any of the committees that advise its board, including those dealing with finance and real estate. Although the matter had not been included on a preliminary agenda of the authority’s board, which is to meet this morning, Tom Kelly, a spokesman for the authority, said yesterday that it would be discussed, but added that it was not known if the board would take action.

    The prospect of such high-level discussion provoked heightened tensions yesterday over the city’s offer, which has been characterized by some critics as a low-ball bid for one of Manhattan’s largest and potentially most valuable development sites, between 10th to 12th Avenues from 30th to 33rd Streets. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who is running for governor, has called the offer “grossly under market value.”

    Others have urged caution. In a letter last week to Peter Kalikow, the authority’s chairman, Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union, the main transit union, and the Straphangers Campaign, a riders’ advocacy group, said that the authority would “look very bad if it turns on a dime and just swallows the proposal whole.’’

    Gene Russianoff, staff lawyer for the Straphangers Campaign, said any action taken by the board today would deny the public sufficient warning or input since the city’s bid was not submitted to prior discussion at open meetings.

    One option for the authority’s board is to give Mr. Kalikow authority to negotiate with the city. Mr. Kalikow, a real estate executive, said after the city’s $500 million bid was outlined in a letter from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn that his top priority was getting top dollar for the site “to support our ongoing enormous capital needs.”

    Mr. Kelly declined further comment yesterday.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  7. #202
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Titan of Tenements Stakes Out West Side

    NY OBSERVER
    Matthew Schuerman
    8/7/2006

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg failed to bring the Jets to the West Side. And now it looks like there’s little he can do to stop a controversial landlord from moving there instead.

    Baruch Singer, who owns dozens of tenement buildings in the city’s poorer neighborhoods, has spent $61.7 million dollars with his partners on five lots on or near 11th Avenue since last December, including a warehouse formerly used by the artist Robert Rauschenberg.

    The transactions are filed in the city’s online property database under official-sounding names such as Hudson Yards L.L.C. or Javits Center Development L.L.C., but they can be traced back to Mr. Singer’s company, Triangle Management, at 95 Delancey Street.

    Mr. Singer is best known as the owner of a Harlem apartment building that partially collapsed in 1995, tipping sleeping residents from their beds into a pile of bricks and killing three people.

    He had also tried to buy the massive Greenpoint Terminal Market just months before the 19th-century warehouse complex went up in flames in May.

    In neither case was he charged with any wrongdoing. But Mr. Singer’s storied history as an owner is still troubling city officials, sources said.

    In one case, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tried to prevent him from bidding on one of its properties in Harlem, although Mr. Singer’s lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, said that H.U.D. later reversed its decision.

    The West Side purchases imply that Mr. Singer is entering the second phase of a well-worn trajectory in real estate: going upscale and moving from residential ownership into office development.

    The recently purchased lots are located in the 40-block area that was rezoned last year to make way for a major new residential and commercial district just west of midtown, dubbed Hudson Yards.

    The placement of the purchases suggest that Mr. Singer is assembling adjoining lots to create at least two office towers, one between 36th and 37th streets and the other on the block to the north. The new zoning permits construction with a base floor-to-area ratio (F.A.R.) of 10, increasing to 21.6 if Mr. Singer purchases development rights from nearby property owners and the city. Only a small portion of the buildings, which could reach about 40 stories high with that F.A.R., can be residential.

    The rezoning is one of the remnants of Mayor Bloomberg’s once-grand plan that included a new stadium for the 2012 Olympics and the Jets football team a few blocks to the south of Mr. Singer’s holdings. Across 11th Avenue, the state is going ahead with a $1.7 billion expansion of the Javits Convention Center.

    And Mr. Singer has probably got the liquidity to take advantage of all that and become an office-building mogul.

    He reportedly sold dozens of his apartment buildings last year to the Pinnacle Group, although he retained a minority share. This spring, he was down to 58 buildings, but has since purchased a number more and now owns 86 buildings which together have 4,565 outstanding housing violations, according to the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The violations may have predated Mr. Singer’s ownership, however, and may have been cured without the owner having notified the city housing department.

    Mr. Singer didn’t respond to interview requests placed by phone and in person at his Lower East Side office.

    A partner listed on one of the deeds, David Galanter, and a lawyer involved in two of the purchases, Kevin Vernick, also did not return telephone messages.

    Mr. Jaroslawicz said through an assistant, “He is always buying and selling, since he is in real estate.”

    Of course, Hudson Yards will only become attractive to commercial-office tenants once the No. 7 subway line is extended west along 41st Street and then south to 34th Street, an extension that is currently scheduled for 2012 — which means that any building on the property is likely years away from materializing.

    Mr. Singer may simply be speculating, purchasing property at prices ranging from $124 to $295 per base zoning square foot, only to sell them later at a profit. The lots he has purchased represent just a smattering of the property that he would need to assemble a footprint large enough for a Class A office building.

    An incentive program proposed by the city last week to encourage development of the new Hudson Yards would cut property taxes on new buildings on Mr. Singer’s lots by as much as 40 percent for the first four years after construction. The tax abatements would gradually recede in subsequent years.

    Rachaele Raynoff, spokeswoman for the Department of City Planning, told The Observer that representatives from Hudson Yards L.L.C. had inquired about the mechanism by which the city is selling extra development rights on the Far West Side, but they didn’t discuss their plans, she said. The development rights are selling for $106.48 per square foot.

    City housing officials said that there was nothing stopping Mr. Singer’s foray into commercial development so long as he found banks willing to finance his purchases.

    City records show that Mr. Singer is relying at least partially on Fortress Credit Corporation, a private equity firm in Manhattan.

    The blocks where he is getting a foothold are now populated by warehouses, a stable for Central Park carriages and parking lots that serve visitors to the Javits Center. One of the properties, a 4,937-square-foot lot at 544 West 38th Street, includes a nondescript three-story brick warehouse that had been used by Mr. Rauschenberg since 1993 as storage for art works, according to a representative from the artist’s studio. Mr. Rauschenberg, who has long lived and worked in Florida, bought it for $875,000 and sold it for $8.575 million.

    Three other lots that Mr. Singer purchased along 37th and 38th streets are occupied by warehouses formerly owned by a family business, Astra Spinning Mills, that once stored textiles in them. The lots, totaling 12,343 square feet, according to city records, went for $24 million.

    Another property, a 9,875-square foot lot at the corner of 37th Street and 11th Avenue that is now occupied by three taxi repair shops, went for $29.13 million.

    The remaining property owners say that they’ve been approached by a variety of developers since the rezoning, although they added that they wouldn’t know if Mr. Singer was one of them, since developers often employ representatives to mask their identities.

    “The first condition is that they help me relocate, and after that we can talk about price,” said Cornelius Byrne, the owner of Central Park Carriages on West 37th Street. “So far, no one has done that.”

    copyright © 2005 the new york observer, L.P.

  8. #203
    The Dude Abides
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    Far West Side Development Critics Line Up

    BY DAVID LOMBINO - Staff Reporter of the Sun

    August 3, 2006

    http://www.nysun.com/article/37262

    At a hearing scheduled for today, critics will try to poke holes in the city's plan to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to help develop a new office district on the far West Side of Manhattan.

    The Bloomberg administration says Midtown is full and the incentives are needed to draw office developers into the area, now a low-rise expanse stretching from about Eighth to Eleventh avenues and from 31st to 43rd streets.

    Critics, who include fiscal watchdog groups, say improving the area's transportation by extending the no. 7 subway line and the recent rezoning of the neighborhood should be enough to entice developers to the far West Side.

    A development consultant, Brian Hatch, said the city's economy was strong enough to avoid handing out tax breaks.

    "They say there is no place left to build in Midtown, but they need to give massive subsidies to get this thing going? That doesn't make sense," Mr. Hatch said.

    "What we have is a demand side problem, not supply side. As soon as there is a tenant that wants to build, bang, they will find a site," he said.

    The rents in the area, the city suspects, will be 20% to 25% lower than Midtown, but construction costs will be the same, making it less profitable to build. City Hall says the incentives will help direct $17.2 billion in private sector investment to the area through 2035, 24 million square feet of office space, thousands of apartments, 225,000 new permanent jobs, and 217,000 construction jobs.

    Last June, Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver killed Mayor Bloomberg's vision for a West Side stadium in the Hudson Yards district, saying that it would compete against the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, which is contained in the speaker's district.

    Yesterday, a spokesman for Mr. Silver, Charles Carrier, said the speaker had similar concerns over the Hudson Yards tax breaks. "We have a concern that the depth of the subsidies not place a greater advantage to development on the West Side than in Lower Manhattan," Mr. Carrier said.

    Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said tax incentives are common in most new commercial buildings across the city, and that the level of Hudson Yards incentives was justified to attract the "pioneer" developers who venture into the far West Side. He noted that the tax incentives were roughly half as big as those designed to boost redevelopment around the former World Trade Center site.

    "The first movers are not exactly moving into the heart of Midtown," Mr. Doctoroff said. "We feel that that makes it appropriate to give them some benefit."

    Today's public hearing in front of the city's Industrial Development Agency is largely a formality since the agency is expected to approve an amendment that will allow the tax breaks on Tuesday. The City Council approved the Hudson Yards plan in October.

    Critics say the tax breaks are meant to accelerate the development of the area to help float what they call a highly ambitious and speculative financing plan by the city.

    Developers in the Hudson Yards district, instead of paying property taxes and mortgage recording taxes to the city's general fund, will give payments in lieu of taxes to a city-created corporation. The corporation will use that money to pay down debt on about $3 billion in bonds it hopes to issue this fall. The proceeds from the bond sale will be used to pay for the extension of the no. 7 subway line, as well as other area improvements like parks and new streets.The city will pay the debt service on the bonds for about three years, but if the project is a total failure, the loss will be borne by the bondholders.

    A contributing editor of City Journal, Nicole Gelinas, who specializes in municipal finance, questioned whether the bonds would be attractive to investors.

    "They are basically taking on all of the risk of speculative development," Ms. Gelinas said.

    Proponents of the city's financing plan say an extra tax incentive is necessary to offset the added cost of building in the Hudson Yards district. Based on the city's rezoning of the area, developers have to pay a fee to use the expanded air rights.

    The president of the Partnership for New York City, Kathryn Wylde, said there is "some nervousness" that the extra costs for the expanded air rights would have "a chilling effect" on demand to build in the area. "That is balanced out by a discount" on property taxes, she said.

    2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.

  9. #204
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    One of the problems in getting this part of the West Side moving forward seems to be that with all the discussion of various tax breaks this only encourages developers to sit back and wait until they see if they can get a better deal before building begins.

    Take the tax breaks / incentives off the table -- thereby leveling the field -- and the serious developers will step forward and start building. The demand for office space / housing is there. Savvy business men will figure out how to make it work without.

  10. #205
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    Agreed, lofter, but I don't know how realistic it would be to get the city to stop subsidizing, especially in a market like today's. They subsidized the Bank of America Tower, of all buildings. Now Durst is getting >$100/sq foot. And with the preliminary success of the NY Times building, I don't think getting high rents in this area would be all that difficult. Just get the damn subway rolling.

  11. #206
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    intersting meeeting today at EDC, as always GJNY complained and cried about actually trying to create good jobs

  12. #207
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    IDA approves tax breaks for Hudson Yards
    by Julie Satow
    Commercial developers on the far West Side are now eligible for $650 million worth of tax abatements.

    The city's Industrial Development Agency Board today approved the tax breaks, which are expected to generate $1.8 billion in new revenue by spurring the development of 24 million square feet of office space in the 45-block neighborhood.

    "The Hudson Yards area represents the city's greatest opportunity to create badly-needed space for new office jobs," says Joshua Sirefman, interim chairman of the IDA. "But it will not happen without mitigating rising development costs that would continue to deter development in the area."


    The city estimates that in 2012 -- the first year an office property is expected to be complete -- a property owner without any tax abatement will pay $15.27 a square foot. With the breaks, however, that property owner will shell out only $9.16 to $11.45 a square foot, depending on how far west the project is located.

    The IDA today also approved an $11.2 million break on the mortgage recording tax for The Related Cos' development of Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market and a $5.6 million break on the mortgage recording tax for the East River Science Park, to be built by Alexandria Real Estate Equities.

  13. #208
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    City hopes tax breaks will boost Hudson Yards plan

    by patrick arden / metro new york

    AUG 8, 2006

    MANHATTAN — The city wants to float $3 billion in bonds to help finance the extension of the 7 subway line and the redevelopment of the Hudson Yards. That debt is supposed to be repaid with future tax revenues generated in the 40-block area west of Midtown, which would include 24 million square feet of new Class A office space and 13,500 apartments.

    Yet the first step in the ambitious Hudson Yards scheme involves offering an estimated $650 million in tax breaks to developers over the next 30 years. Today the city’s Industrial Development Agency is expected to approve these exemptions from property, sales and mortgage recording taxes as an “incentive” to prime the pump.

    “Rents are going to be lower there,” explained IDA chairman Joshua Sirefman. By spreading out the breaks over time, he said, “we’re actually helping to create certainty in the marketplace. ... The Far West Side is still the Far West Side, and we really need to make sure that we can jumpstart it.”

    Tax breaks

    But these tax breaks don’t add up for economist James Parrott, deputy director of the nonpartisan Fiscal Policy Institute. “They’re discounting the revenue stream that they’re counting on,” he said.

    Parrott likes the idea of developing the Hudson Yards area, but he’s against offering long-term commercial property tax breaks in Manhattan. He calls it the “most unheralded budget action of the year.”

    “They’re about to vote on several hundred million dollars’ worth of tax breaks for decades to come on a scale that will affect every other economic development decision the city makes over the next few years,” Parrott said. “The less the city gets in property taxes from large commercial owners, the more it will rely upon other property taxpayers for those revenues. So, in effect, this comes at the expense of smaller businesses, businesses in other parts of the city, and homeowners.”


    Selling bonds

    The bonds will be sold through the Hudson Yards Infrastructure Corporation, not the city, and their repayment depends on revenue streams not yet established.

    As a result, the debt will likely carry a higher rate of interest than city bonds, with a lower rating, making the financing more expensive in the long run.

    “They’re doing the tax breaks now because they need to sell the bonds,” Parrott said. “It’s all about the financing, but it’s going to be around for 35 years.

    “They have not made a convincing economic rationale that the tax breaks are needed. This is a bad policy decision waiting to be approved.”


    MTA financing?

    • To repay the Hudson Yards Infrastructure Corporation’s debt, the city will divert mortgage and sales taxes that would normally go to the MTA. The city wants to pay the MTA $500 million to develop over the railyards there, which were appraised at almost $1 billion. “I don’t know what the present dollar value of the lost MTA taxes is,” Parrott said, “but it’s not insignificant and one wonders whether it’s part of the negotiations over the railyards deal.”

    © 2006 Metro.

  14. #209

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    The city estimates that in 2012 -- the first year an office property is expected to be complete
    Is this realistic? I wouldn't be surprised if the first tower was only started in 2012. Everything takes longer in New York.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfenn1117 View Post
    Is this realistic? I wouldn't be surprised if the first tower was only started in 2012. Everything takes longer in New York.
    With the tax breaks, I'm sure you can get someone to start something in the next 2-3 years. Why not? Occupancies and rents are WAY UP. People have to go somewhere. Developers will fill the need. The tax breaks will get them to think about the West Side now, in place of other areas that are already developed. This may be the best thing Bloomie has done since being mayor. Really, the West Side is so underutilized, it's ridiculous. This will encourage real development and make the entire island as great as it should be. I mean, this is some of the best real estate in the world...with parking lots and warehouses. Not the right place for these uses. Plain and simple.

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