If the MTA is going to spend money to build a platform, it doesn't make sense to build on that one and leave the railyards open just accross the avenue. It would still leave any development there cut off from the rest of the city by open railyards. But maybe its also a move to get the JETS off their ass on this. Even if the JETS were still able to by their share of the development rights, the MTA would have to sell the remaining 2/3 to other developers.
Jets, Nets on clock to negotiate rights to build venues
THE JOURNAL NEWS
July 28, 2005
The fate of the air rights to construct over the Hudson rail yards on the West Side of Manhattan and over the Long Island Rail Road yard in Brooklyn came up at yesterday's Metropolitan Transit Authority meeting. The end result is that the Jets are now on the clock for about a month and the Nets are on the clock for 45 days.
The Jets were given until Aug. 31 to decide whether they want to go through with their $250 million purchase of those rights in order to build their controversial $2.2 billion West Side stadium. But the MTA also gave itself the right to explore other sale options with the stipulation that the Jets would receive notice if the agency finds one. The team has taken that to mean that it still has first dibs until the deadline.
It's just that any momentum stalled on June 6 when state legislators Sheldon Silver and Joseph Bruno effectively blocked a $300 million state contribution. The Jets have talked to the Giants about sharing a new stadium at the Meadowlands while also looking for ways to keep the West Side possibility alive.
The Jets still privately have some reservations about the economic sense of a Queens alternative.
"We respect the MTA's desire to have closure regarding future development of the Western Railyards," the Jets said in a statement. "At this time, we are weighing all of our options and we have agreed to notify the MTA regarding our intent to go to contract by Aug. 31."
Bruce Ratner, meanwhile, wants to build a new arena for his Nets at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues in Brooklyn as part of a larger redevelopment plan. There were bids for the air rights by two companies — Forest City Ratner and Extell — and the MTA chose in a 13-1 vote to open a 45-day window for exclusive negotiations with Forest City Ratner.
The Nets' owner said in a statement that he was very pleased.