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Hudson Yards and “The Fate of the Far West Side”

google earth west side manhattan aerialYesterday, Crain’s reported that the MTA wants to lease the Hudson Yards site rather than sell it. On Monday the MTA sent out letters to the five teams outlining its preferred deal structure. Theresa Agovino reported:
“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…Still, the source at the developer said that the MTA is asking for a piece of the profits that will come from leasing the office and residential buildings that will be built on the site. He couldn’t say exactly how much it was requesting.”
Maintaining public ownership of the Hudson Yards site is in the public’s interest, but what is really needed is a coordinated plan – one that defines Moynihan Station as a catalyst – with more transparency about the public costs. At a panel discussion last night on the West Side at the Museum of the City of New York, former MTA chairman Richard Ravitch lambasted the lack of coordinated planning in the Hudson Yards area. According to Norman Oder at the Atlantic Yards Report, Ravitch “criticized the MTA for its ‘shortsighted’ desire for revenue” and stressed that public land was an important public resource. We filmed the panel – stay tuned for some video clips.