[The Brookfield plan. Click to expand.]
If Brookfield Properties has a dream team of architects lined up to design the 16 buildings and lush green spaces of its West Side Rail Yards vision?including High Line masterminds Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Field Operations?then why is the company's bid seen as an underdog? For three big reasons. 1) Unlike Related or Vornado/Durst or Tishman Speyer, Brookfield has no major tenant already lined up. 2) Brookfield is not as outrageously wealthy as some of the other developers, which is seen as a sign of weakness for a project that will take over a decade and many billions of dollars to build out. 3) Brookfield's proposal?which opens up the grid and forgoes one huge park in the middle?violates the city's strict guidelines for the Hudson Yards. Despite all these hurdles, Brookfield's bid may be emerging as the fan favorite.
At this very moment (it's been a back-and-forth battle), Brookfield is leading our Hudson Yards proposals poll. Then there's strong feedback in the comments thread on the Brookfield bid, even if some of it reeks of shilling. Today, the Observer's Matthew Schuerman reports that at the storefront on 43rd and Vanderbilt where all the proposals are on display, Brookfield also appears to be winning the hearts and minds of the public.
But about that storefront. Brookfield has played it brilliantly: they have the most plum positioning (to the right when you walk in the door, and visible from the sidewalk through the windows), they are the only developer with an employee on hand full-time to answer questions, and lastly?this cannot be underestimated?they are handing out giant posters depicting their bid. Posters, people. Posters. Yes, it appears that Brookfield has hit the ground running, at least as far as the public is concerned. And in the end, of course, that means absolutely nothing.
· Brookfield Crowd Favorite in Race for West Side Rail Yards [NYO]
· Curbed Poll: And the Hudson Yards Winner Is... [Curbed]
· Yardsmania #1: Brookfield Properties Goes Splittsville [Curbed]