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Yardsmania: OK, So Now What?

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With Tishman Speyer now in the driver's seat at the Hudson Yards (proposal images above), let's take a closer look at the West Side's new overlords. Founded in 1978 by partners Robert Tishman and Jerry Speyer, Tishman Speyer has grown to become one of the largest real estate development/investment/management firms in the country, if not?dramatic pause?the world. Signature properties in Tishman Speyer's portfolio include the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center and Berlin's Sony Center.

In 2006, Tishman Speyer purchased the middle-class enclave of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village in Manhattan for a record $5.4 billion, and the company has been busy gussying it up and shifting the apartments to pricey market-rate rentals. Soon after, the company set another record, selling the office building at 666 Fifth Avenue for $1.8 billion. Phew. OK, now that that's settled, let's focus on the future of the rail yards, twice the acreage of the World Trade Center and almost as complicated. The $1.004 billion deal with the MTA for the development rights may be settles, but there are many questions left to be answered.

1) How will the design change? The Observer's Eliot Brown does a great job of laying out the various community hurdles (yes, some people live out there in bumblefuck) that will most likely reshape part of the development, but it's also been long-assumed that the renderings and models submitted with the bids were very preliminary, and would no doubt evolve once a winner was selected. So what do architects Helmut Jahn and Peter Walker have in store for the thousands of office drones and new West Siders?

2) Will any other developers be involved? It was also long-assumed that, given the scale of the project, the MTA would work out a deal with more than one developer. However, that does not seem to be the case right now. But affordable housing is a very sensitive subject, and many people think Tishman's plan does not include enough of it. The second-place Durst/Vornado bid, however, does. Will Durst/Vornado take on a piece of the pie?

3) Who will take all that office space? Morgan Stanley dropped out as Tishman Speyer's anchor tenant during the bidding process, which at the time was seen as a severe blow to Tishman's chances. Now that Tishman will building 10 million square feet of office space, will companies line up to fill it? Especially with all the big office buildings going up at the World Trade Center, as well as Hudson Yards loser Brookfield Properties project next door?

4) What about the High Line? The upper-third portion of the High Line is the only chunk the city does not currently own, and it's by no means safe. The Tishman Speyer bid did call for some residential buildings to cantilever over the tracks-turned-park, but is that still the case? How many High Line-cantilevering buildings does this world need?

5) What the heck is that rooftop pool/garden picture in the Tishman renderings? The mysterious photo is the last image in the gallery on the Tishman proposal's official website. Did the architects sneak in a picture of Bob Tishman's Park Avenue penthouse as a gag? Answers, please!
· Yardsmania: It's Official! [Curbed]
· Yardsmania: Apparent Losers Showing Signs of Life [Curbed]
· Yardsmania Update-o-rama: Tishman Must Get Sexy? [Curbed]

Helmut Jahn

50 West Street, New York, NY