As workers continue to forge ahead with the 7 line extension, the new stop at 34th St. and 11th Ave. remais on target to open in 2013, but will there be anything above ground besides the Javits Center? That’s long been the hot button question surrounding the city’s efforts at developing the Hudson Yards land. This weekend, Crain’s New York tried to answer it. The business trade took a look at six key projects, and among them are many transit-related developments. Moynihan Station and Atlantic Yards have garnered the headlines, but what of the Far West Side?
As Crain’s reminds us, February should witness a major milestone in the future of this project. That month, Related’s first $43.5 million payment of its $1 billion deal with the MTA is due after the two sides agreed on a one-year extension in 2009. “We’re working diligently with the MTA and expect to meet the deadline,” a company spokeswoman said to Andrew Marks. Meanwhile, others with vested interests in the area believe something will happen but not until after the 7 line opens. “The opening of the subway means that something will get built there,” Jon McMillan, whose company TF Cornerstone Inc. owns development rights along West 37th St., said. “Once we’ve got the 7 line here, it will be, ‘If you build it, they will come.’”
In the past, I’ve called the 7 line work the Subway to Nowhere because of the costs and nature of the project. The city dropped plans — which factored heavily into Mayor Bloomberg’s PLANYC proposal — to build a stop at 41st St. and 10th Ave. where residents actually need subway access and are banking on substantial development to make this costly subway extension worthwhile. Still, if developers in the area are optimistic, that’s reason for hope for Manhattan’s last frontier.