Robert AM Stern

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Anonymous
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Over the next few weeks, we'll be providing you with some quick-hit style background information on the various developers who have submitted bids for the West Side Yards site. Today, we're starting with Tishman Speyer, whose bid is pictured above.

Founded in 1978 in New York, Tishman Speyer ("TS") has managed 77 million square feet of real estate assets since its inception. In the last three years, the company has been involved in three of the largest real-estate deals in American history. TS is traded publicly and has around 1100 employees in 25 offices worldwide. They recently spearheaded (along with Lehman Brothers), a takeover of Archstone, which was at the time the third largest Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) in the country.

After the jump, check out the details of some of Tishman Speyer's notable developments and properties.
Author: 
Anonymous
According to Crain's,  it now looks as if the MTA would prefer to lease the Rail Yards site to developers for 99 years, rather than sell it.

"A source at one developer said the MTA was caving in to public pressure not to sell the property, which includes active MTA rail operations. But the MTA spokesman says that under a 99-year lease agreement the developer would still control the site."

Author: 
Anonymous
Wall Street Journal

Architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable takes the Rail Yards planning process to task today. She's skeptical of a process she sees as offering too much to the developers to the ultimate detriment of the public good, because

"It is hard to believe that teams with this much financial heft and assembled star power could come up with something so awesomely bad."

Notably, she singles out the possible preservation of the High Line as a rare triumph of public opinion in this process:

Author: 
Anonymous
CB4

Manhattan Community Board 4 and HYCAC developed this document to synthesize information about the MTA's guidelines for the rail yards site, as well as overviews of the five proposals. It was intended for discussion at the December 10 public forum, but serves as a good reference for comparing the plans side-by-side.

Download the PDF (Be patient: It's 9MB)
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Anonymous
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Friday is the last day of the public exhibition of all five developer proposals, in a storefront near Grand Central. The exhibition includes design boards, models, and last time we checked, a representative from each developer on hand to answer questions. Those details again:
Author: 
Anonymous
Community Meeting

On Monday night, over 200 interested members of the community (as well as political figures such as New York State Senator Tom Duane) gathered at the Hudson Guild at an event sponsored by Community Board 4 and the Hudson Yards Community Advocacy Coalition that included presentations from the five developers who have submitted plans for the rail yards. After the presentations, attendees had the opportunity to break into small groups to discuss the plans and give their feedback in a formal way.

Photos of the event can be found here

CB4 prepared a handy info sheet (PDF) comparing each plan by the numbers. A summary from the community discussion will be available soon.

The developers' presentations were short and business-like, as they labored mightily to conform to a time limit of ten minutes per proposal. That was still plenty of time for lots of shiny pictures (and in the case of the Durst/Vornado plan, a snappy video), as well as for some revealing rhetorical moments. A brief digest after the jump.

Author: 
Anonymous
On Monday, architects from the five development teams presented their designs to the public at Cooper Union. Videos of each presentation are now available. Please note these videos have been edited down for length, and the sound quality is not great.


Steven Holl for Extell
Author: 
Anonymous
The MTA is taking public input for the five developer proposals until December 14. After the designated public comment period, a committee made up of representatives from the MTA and the HYDC will make a recommendation to the MTA Board, who will then be responsible for selecting the developer. This is a very short window of time to make your voice heard, and it's crucial that the agency know the public demands accountability in this process.

You can comment directly to the MTA in one of two ways:
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