Work on the 7 line extension is moving quickly, but the same cannot be said of development at Hudson Yards. Photo by Photo by Clayton Price for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Over the past four and a half years, I haven’t smiled upon the 7 line extension. A pet project of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s that serves as a living relic of the city’s failed Olympics bid, the $2.1 billion extension has seen useful elements — such as a station at 41st St. and 10th Ave. — eliminated. While the new stop at 34th St. and 11th Ave. is one that will benefit an eventual neighborhood, at a time when subway expansion dollars are very limited, this Subway to Nowhere isn’t the best use of funds.
Yet, the project is, as we learned recently, moving forward. Just last week, the MTA unveiled photos from inside the station cavern, and the authority has maintained that the 7 will head to the Far West Side by December 2013, nearly 32 months from now.
Unfortunately, nothing will be there when the 7 train extension opens. Sure, the Javits Center will still host conventions and the few people who live and work in the undeveloped area will have quicker access to the rest of Manhattan. But Related Companies, the real estate developer who agreed to purchase the land above the rail yards from the MTA, doesn’t anticipate opening a building there until 2015 at the earliest. Things, though, may be moving forward on that front.
According to article in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Related is attempting to convince Time Warner to anchor the Hudson Yards development. Apparently, Time Warner’s still-new corporate headquarters above Columbus Circle could now command such a high price that it would make more sense for the telecom giant to sell its space and move west. While talks, according to the Journal, “could fizzle,” Time Warner wants to move but “isn’t close to a decision.”
Eliot Brown and Lauren Schuker report:
If Time Warner makes the jump, it could finally open up a long-planned frontier in Manhattan development by the Javits Center. Related has been pushing a long-term plan to deliver a city-within-a-city to be built over the Long Island Rail Road storage yard. It’s slated to include 12.9 million square feet of new office, retail and residential development
The deal would be a major boost for Related Chairman Stephen Ross, who agreed in 2008 to a $1 billion long-term lease with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to become the site’s developer. Related has said it needs a large tenant to begin construction and has pledged to make space available to the first tenants at the cost of development…
Time Inc. and HBO, both divisions of Time Warner, lease more than two million square feet of space in Manhattan that expires in 2017 and 2018, according to research firm CoStar Group Inc. It is unclear if those divisions would be part of a move to Hudson Yards. But the timing of the lease expirations would allow for it. Related has said it could deliver the first phase of the development by 2015.
The two reporters note that Related has yet to secure a tenant for its planned buildings but believes it will lease out around 3.5 million square feet this year. The company is targeting Coach as a potential anchor tenant as well.
Meanwhile, the subway moves forward. Optimistically, construction will be completed at least two years before the buildings start to grow above the rail yards that abut the Hudson River, but the Subway to Nowhere will go west nonetheless.