In Railyards, Seeing a Blank Canvas on the Hudson
By CHARLES V. BAGLI
November 19, 2007
Five developers are competing to buy the development rights over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority railyards that straddle 11th Avenue, between 30th and 33rd Streets. They have submitted billion-dollar offers and elaborate development plans for what would be the largest project in Manhattan, on 26 acres stretching across the equivalent of six city blocks overlooking the Hudson River.
For developers, the railyards are a pulse-quickening opportunity. A builder must first erect platforms over the Long Island Rail Road tracks on both sides of 11th Avenue before putting up any buildings, at an estimated cost of up to $1.5 billion. And it has to be done without disrupting the operation of the trains below.
After Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s plan for the western part of the railyards, which was centered on a $2.2 billion football stadium and convention hall, failed in 2005, the transportation authority and the Bloomberg administration devised a new plan for the entire railyards site. They outlined what developers can build there: about 12 million square feet of residential and commercial space, a cultural building, shops and parklike spaces. It makes for a very dense development, and must still go through the city’s land use review process.
All five developers have incorporated all or part of the High Line, the defunct elevated railway that rings the site on 30th Street and 12th Avenue, in their proposals as a park and pedestrian walkway. Each of their renderings for the project depicts more than a dozen buildings, although the exact look of the structures would almost certainly change.
The authority hopes to select a winner by February or March. In the meantime, images and models of the different proposals go on public display for two weeks beginning today, in a storefront at the northwest corner of 43rd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, across from Grand Central Terminal.
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
I think New York's Hudson Yards are going to be gorgeous. [1400 × 617] by redditpictures, on Flickr