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

97. You may not vote on this poll
  • 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. #451
    Forum Veteran TREPYE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Brooklyn, NY


    I am still digesting these 5 proposals but one thing definitely comes to mind....

    Do they all have to be all glass?? I mean, can we mix and match facade textures here and there?

    That is one of the great thing about our skyline as a whole they make a beautiful panoramic quilt of varying facade textures: glass, stone, brick, stucco, terra cotta, copper, marble, cement, metallic; hey, even ceramic rods! . Why cant we maintain that variety here in this giant chunk of the city? There is too much monotony of glass in these proposals.
    Last edited by TREPYE; November 21st, 2007 at 10:33 AM.

  2. #452


    Don't worry about all that glass - those buildings are in essence placeholders. By the time they get designed and built architectural fashion will be in a different place.

  3. #453


    Brookfield Crowd Favorite in Race for West Side Rail Yards

    by Matthew Schuerman
    November 20, 2007

    It was sometime late Wednesday, Nov. 14, that some of New York’s largest developers were told they had little more than 48 hours to prepare a public showing of their plans to transform the West Side rail yards, the largest available development site in Manhattan in decades.

    They quickly reproduced compact disks, printed more color pictures, stuffed folders and packed up television sets. On Friday, their representatives got a look at the exhibit space—a little storefront across from Grand Central Terminal that Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials had found after scrambling themselves for a space that West Siders could easily get to. On Saturday morning, the five teams had two hours to set up.

    The developers drew lots to see which wall they could use, and Brookfield Properties got a lucky number: the corner directly to the right as visitors walk in. The company’s plan, laid out in two huge architectural models, solves the problem of working with the two superblocks—each stretching from 30th to 33rd streets, on either side of 11th Avenue—by dividing them up somewhat with new streets or pedestrian thoroughfares. In so doing, Brookfield, which owns the World Financial Center in Battery Park City, violates the guidelines that the city and the M.T.A., the owner of the rail yards, set out for development.

    But judging from the early reaction among visitors to the exhibit space, Brookfield has also gained a lot of fans, both via online message boards and among visitors to the exhibit, for a plan that they say looks the most like the rest of New York.
    (Brookfield is also the only bidder that has placed a company official at the showroom full-time to explain its exhibit to the public.)

    “I’m looking for as much integration in the street grid as possible,” said Michael D. D. White, a 55-year-old lawyer from Brooklyn Heights who stopped by the storefront Monday evening. “I think people are paying more attention to focus on the experience that Jane Jacobs wrote about. She’s cycling back into fashion. I think we want to have an experience that is intricate and various and accounts for complexity.”

    M.T.A.’s chief executive and executive director, Elliot (Lee) Sander, said at the Sunday press unveiling of the exhibit that the developers’ design would be one of three elements on which the agency would base its decision, along with the amount of money the bidder is offering and the feasibility of construction. But the M.T.A. has shied away from suggesting just how much weight each element will receive.

    Steve Roth, chairman and chief executive of Vornado Realty Trust, one of the bidders, told The Observer that given what he expected to be a lengthy 10-year build-out, at an estimated construction cost of $10 billion to $15 billion, the M.T.A. can only afford to consider the strongest, most established companies. He would not elaborate, but clearly he thought that Vornado, a publicly traded company with $18 billion in assets, ought to be one of them.

    “There are two or three of these that are done by teams that are really competent,” Mr. Roth said, “and in the end I think it’s going to be the financial part of the deal that is going to differentiate them.”

    The financial arrangements are still secret. (The M.T.A. hopes to use the money to plug a $1 billion hole in its capital budget.) The tenancies are a little clearer. On that front Brookfield, which has no tenant lined up, stands at a disadvantage to other bidders who can argue that having a client and potential revenue source will force them to stick on budget and in the black.

    However, Ric Clark, Brookfield president and chief executive, sought to portray the lack of a tenant as a positive, and an indication that it would be willing to pay more for the site.

    “We put no premium on having a tenant at this point in time. We’ve heard that others have landed their tenants by offering cost-minus deals. We think that leaves some of M.T.A.’s money on the table,” Mr. Clark said. “In North America, we have more head office tenants than anybody else. What we do is move people around as their businesses change. They buy somebody or they sell off a decision. We have confidence that we will land a tenant.”

    Whether Brookfield’s urbanism, outlined by the architectural firms Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Field Operations, will actually cost more to construct or cause more disruption is difficult to judge: the plan calls for buildings to line either side of 11th Avenue, in keeping with New York’s street walls. But the M.T.A. and the city’s Hudson Yards Development Corporation specifically called for parkland in that area in order to minimize construction over train lines, which run east-west through the center of the superblocks.

    Regardless of the weight that the architecture will receive in the decision-making process, West Siders and politicians pushed hard to open the bids up to public view. And while they are realistic that the architecture of the buildings could easily change, they say that much can be learned.

    “I expect there will be changes during negotiations with the M.T.A. and the city,” State Senator Tom Duane, a Democrat representing the West Side, said. “I’m assuming that the general vision of the architects and developers and their priorities will remain the same: the orientation of the buildings, the High Line, the commercial versus residential, the open space placement, the impact looking north from Chelsea and south from Clinton. But I am generally pleased that the process and display are open and will continue to be open as the process moves forward.”

    In that sense, Tishman Speyer, which has recruited Morgan Stanley as both a development partner and building tenant, is the most corporate, with 10 million square feet of office space, compared to just about three million square feet of residential development. The design, by German architect Helmut Jahn and landscape designer Peter Walker, makes various allusions to Rome: A large plaza in the center of the commercial district is being called the Forum, while a series of broad steps leading down from it is called “the New York Steps.”

    Vornado’s partnership with the Durst Organization boasts the greatest number of residential units, with 7,000 rentals and condominiums, an unspecified number of which would be affordable. That team will build a new headquarters for Condé Nast, a company that currently is housed in another Durst tower, 4 Times Square. While boasting numerous environmental features, the Durst-Vornado plan would dismantle some of the High Line, an abandoned elevated freight rail line that runs down to the West Village and that would otherwise be turned into a narrow strip of park.

    An unusual bid by the upstart Extell Development Co. clocks in with about 5,500 apartments. Designed by Steven Holl with landscaping by Laurie Olin, Extell’s design is the conceptual opposite of Brookfield’s, with tall narrow buildings forced to the very edges of the site to be situated over terra firma. The rail yards would be covered not by a post-and-beam deck, but by a canopy that would rely on suspension bridge technology.

    Finally, the proposal by the Related Companies centers around its potential tenant, News Corp., which would be able to consolidate its New York operations, including the newly acquired Wall Street Journal, in a two million-square-foot tower. Related’s chairman and chief executive, Stephen M. Ross, has used that tenant as a means to orient the rest of the plan—a large plaza in front of the News Corp. headquarters would be used to screen premieres by Twentieth Century Fox movies—and a way to talk about what sort of neighborhood News Corp. could turn the West Side into—a lively, multimedia, round-the-clock, flashy focal point.

    Mr. Ross used much the same strategy in bidding on the Coliseum site at Columbus Circle, by recruiting Time Warner to join him, and he won, eventually building the twin-tower Time Warner Center. It would, on the other hand, be quite a statement about the future of liberal New York if Rupert Murdoch became the pioneer of the new West Side.

  4. #454


    I went to the exhibit yesterday. It is very easy to get caugh up in all the Brookfield marketing. They had a representative at the exhibit to help answer questions and give an explaination of the project (she was quite good.) I must admit that this proposal very difficult to look at as a masterplan, rather than a group of interesting buildings, because of all the star power that the developer has packed into it. I think that we must keep in mind that these buildings are simply massing, and that the final product would never "look" like this. However, the proposal will "act" like this, and that is what really matters. I think that same is be said about the other 4 proposals.

  5. #455


    Quote Originally Posted by ...CREATE View Post
    I went to the exhibit yesterday. It is very easy to get caugh up in all the Brookfield marketing. They had a representative at the exhibit to help answer questions and give an explaination of the project (she was quite good.)....
    If we saw the same chick, she's also hot!

  6. #456


    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    If we saw the same chick, she's also hot!
    Really? I gotta go back and ask some questions!

  7. #457


    We think alike, amigo.

  8. #458


    i went over to view the models during lunch today. no woman at the brookfield display. their were several architect/engineering school types, some residents of upper chelsea and i suppose some who were just curious. one visitor wearing a suit had a color print out of a curbed posting and was showing it to his companion. i'm going to fill out a comment form, and hope it does a little good.

  9. #459

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by alonzo-ny View Post
    Really? I gotta go back and ask some questions!
    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    We think alike, amigo.
    Might ask her if she wants to discuss the plans over a stella or two

  10. #460


    Funny! As you know, Annie Moore's is very close to the Hudson Yards display!

  11. #461



  12. #462

    Default role of city council in approval process?

    I guess 1 thing that caught my eye is the NYTimes article indictes the winner needs to go through the city's land use review process. Doesn't that take a long time - I'm curious how its even remotely conceivable a developer could do that and start construction in 2008, as Extell suggests it would do. Also, why is there any reason to believe the plan the MTA picks will survive land use review. Why wouldn't we expect the city council, once the MTA has safely been paid by the developer to "bait and switch" and say the whole thing needs to be an affordable housing project, for example?

  13. #463
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    It's possible to navigate the ULURP process in ~ 9 months ...

  14. #464


    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    Not much different from the new developments going up in Shanghai or Dubai. This place is the anti-Manhattan.
    could you tell me what you mean? how should a pro-Manhattan proposal look like? what's the "spirit" you think should be preserved?

  15. #465

    Default I hope it doesn't because a "docklands"

    I've been thinking people are inevitably going to start drawing comparisons between this project and the London Docklands area. That concerns me, because I think if we try to copy that, we'll end up with a boring and antiseptic place. It's great this area is near the "clubland" on 27th street, but I think the ideal thing would be to try to encourage the developers to pull some of those clubs into the development area itself. One of the genious things that occurred in the 1990s is businesses finally realized the theater and culture of Times Square made it a good place for business, not a bad place. But they needed encouragement from government to make that happen. I think this project may plan too much into the natural tendencies of corporate tenants like Morgan Stanley to be prudish even though its probably self defeating with the sort of young out of college students they are trying to recruit by being in Manhattan in the first place.

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