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Author: 
Anonymous
Another big Rail Yards announcement this morning: the Related Companies have stepped in where Tishman Speyer dropped out earlier this month.
Author: 
Anonymous
After a last-ditch effort to get their West Side Rail Yards negotiations back on track after Thursday's announcement, Tishman Speyer was unable to sway the MTA.

The MTA's statement today was short and sweet. In its entirety:
Author: 
Anonymous
 

The MTA announced today that it has selected Tishman Speyer as the developer for the West Side Rail Yards. This announcement ends a 6-month bidding process, which originally involved 5 competing developers. Tishman Speyer outbid the only other remaining contender-- a joint venture between the Durst Organization and Vornado Realty Trust-- by $112 million, offering to pay $1.004 billion for the rights to develop the 26-acre site.

Author: 
meredithatthehi...
Categories: 
state of the mta
 

This morning, MTA Executive Director Lee Sander gave the first ever State of the MTA address. However, despite RSVP'ing last week, I wasn't able to make it inside, along with a bunch of other heartbroken transit enthusiasts. Bummer. Above are some shots of the huddled masses gathered outside of Cooper Union's Great Hall moments before we were turned away.

Author: 
Anonymous
Brookfield Properties has announced they have not submitted a second bid for the Rail Yards site. Supplementary bids were due yesterday.

Back in January, the MTA asked the five developers to submit supplementary materials supporting their ability to lease, not buy, the 26-acre site. None of this financial information was made public.

Author: 
Anonymous
Unsurprisingly in the wake of the subprime crisis and general market shakiness, much of the Rail Yards dialogue has turned away from design and towards financials.

Of course, guessing is a bit tough, given the MTA's refusal to make the financial bids public (which the HYCAC called for as part of its summary of top community concerns).

Background on the financial situations of each of the developers has led to a lot of speculation over which one would be the surest bet for the MTA, an agency that knows its way around fiscal headache.

A Crain's editorial recently endorsed Related and Tishman Speyer for the site, pointing to anchor tenants to add heft to the deal:
"There are no more resourceful, experienced or financially solid real estate companies in New York. Their tenants, News Corp. for Related, and Morgan Stanley for Tishman, offer a strong likelihood the project will get off the ground."
The Crain's site is for subscribers only, but the complete editorial is after the jump.

The MTA still plans to announce a decision by the end of March.
Author: 
Anonymous
Crain's has the latest on an increasingly complicated set of requirements for developers, as outlined by the MTA in their January 28 letter.

According to the article by Theresa Agovino, the winning developer will be contractually obligated to create a set of seperate funds that will go to the MTA for Rail Yards expenses and earmarks for other MTA projects (including a $9.2 million fund to improve the MTA's LIRR facility near Shea Stadium).

None of these expenses would be paid back if the deal should fall through. Given the uncertain economic climate and fear of a national recession, it looks like the MTA is raising the bar to safeguard the site against developers pulling out later. Essentially, the agency is transferring risk onto the developers.

The MTA will also require developers to front "transaction payments" to back any condo sale or other transaction on the site once it's built out. The tricky part is, the MTA doesn't specify a set amount for these payments-- bidders have to come up with their own maximum figure.

Full text after the jump.

Author: 
Anonymous
The January 28 MTA letter to developers generated a bunch of speculation on what the new guidelines will mean for developers, and it's been a busy week for the various other developments around the Yards.

Author: 
Anonymous
Following up on Crains' reporting last week,  the Times reports this morning on bidding developers' (anonymous) initial responses to the MTA's request for new information (the Times reporter says "new bids," although that's not how the MTA framed it)  reflecting the transit authority's desire to lease, ra

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