Major Step Forward: All Stakeholders Pledge to Complete the High Line at the Rail Yards

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Major Step Forward: All Stakeholders Pledge to Complete the High Line at the Rail Yards

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The future of the final section of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards took a major step forward today.

For the very first time, all stakeholders have now publicly stated their commitment to preserving and transforming the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, including the spur over 10th Avenue, into public open space.

Today’s announcement was made at a press conference to mark a lease agreement between the Related Companies and Coach. The New York-based retail company, which is currently based on West 34th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, plans to occupy 600,000 square feet of new office space within a new building to be built at the northwest corner of 10th Avenue and West 30th Street. The Related Companies will begin construction of the building in 2012, effectively breaking ground on the planned development for the Hudson Yards.

Read the Mayor’s press release to learn more about the development project.

At the press conference, Mayor Bloomberg announced two pieces of major news for the High Line:

  • CSX Transportation, Inc., the private rail freight company that still owns the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, has agreed, in principle, to donate this last remaining section to the City of New York, just like it did for the High Line south of West 30th Street, and
  • The City of New York has reached an agreement, in principle, with the State of New York and the Related Companies to preserve the entire historic structure of the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, including the spur over 10th Avenue, and is working to open the High Line all the way to West 34th Street to the public as soon as possible.

The details of the necessary legal agreements to allow the High Line to move forward still need to be finalized, but this consensus is without a doubt the most significant step toward our ultimate goal of preserving the entire historic High Line.

Once the City’s acquisition is complete, Friends of the High Line expects to design and operate this section of the High Line through a public-private partnership with the City of New York, just like the park south of West 30th Street. We have already made significant progress on raising private funding to support the High Line’s final section and build the park’s endowment, including a $20 million commitment from the Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, as well as $5 million pledges from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation and Donald Pels and Wendy Keys. We are also grateful to other generous supporters who have funded our advocacy work and all rail yards programming: the New York Community Trust and its LuEsther T. Mertz Advised Fund, Greenacre Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

There is more work to be done, of course. We look forward to working with all of the stakeholders to finalize the City’s acquisition. We would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Quinn, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Manhattan Community Boards 2 and 4, the Related Companies, and Coach for their commitment to the High Line. We would also like to thank CSX Transportation, Inc. for its commitment to donate the final section of the High Line to the City, and for its historic and ongoing support for the project.