Photo by Barry Munger.
On July 13, the MTA issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the development of the West Side Rail Yards between 30th and 33rd Streets, including both the Eastern Rail Yards (ERY) and the Western Rail Yards (WRY). This represents a major milestone for the development of the West Side, and the city in general, as these two parcels represent the largest remaining undeveloped sites in Manhattan. The issuance of the RFPs is also a major milestone for the High Line, as the sites includes inform the fate of the last, unprotected, 30% of the High Line north of 30th Street.
The good news is that the RFPs state a clear preference for the preservation of the High Line: "Retaining the existing High Line structure as linear open space within the WRY [and ERY] is a goal shared by the MTA, the City, and Councilmember [Quinn]". This is a significant positive step forward towards preservation at the site.
However, this is not a guarantee of preservation. The RFP requires that developers submit proposals both with and without the High Line, so the MTA can evaluate the costs, if any, associated with preserving the High Line structure. We are hopeful that developers will recognize the historic opportunity before them, and we will seek to work with the MTA, the City and the selected developer to insure that everyone fully appreciates the civic importance of the High Line at these sites.
Developer proposals are due October 11. We will keep you posted on future actions that affect the High Line and how you can help advocate for its preservation.
For more on the Rail Yards development, see our previous email newsletters
For the full RFP, see the MTA's Web site: www.mta.info/mta/procurement/wsy