Friday, May 09, 2008

West Side Collapse: Vornado on Deck?

All of this morning's papers are covering the collapse of the Tishman-Speyer deal to develop the West Side rail yards. Here's Charles Bagli's take over at the NY Times: "Six weeks after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority selected Tishman Speyer Properties to build a vast complex of office towers, apartment buildings and parks over the railyards on the West Side of Manhattan, the deal has fallen apart."

The deal's demise, attributable to economic and zoning factors, could pave the way for one of our favorite real estate companies to re-enter the picture; the team of Durst and Vornado was widely perceived to be the second place bidder when Tishman Speyer won six weeks ago: “It would be a real tragedy for the city if the project did not proceed now,” said Douglas Durst, who had bid for the property in partnership with Steven Roth, chairman of Vornado Realty Trust. “The M.T.A. must find a way to keep the momentum going.”

And I'll bet that Doug E. Fresh has just the right folks to get this all jump started. If he does, however, we'd suggest that he find himself a new partner, because after we finish the Tar Babying of Steve Roth there will be little chance for the developer to be part of any deal where zoning will play an important role.

That is, unless the Distrusters at Vornado quickly begin to see the light about the eviction of the Key Food at Bruckner Plaza. You simply can't go around this city pretending to be a good corporate citizen-expecting public benefits as well-if you think so little of the health of low income New Yorkers. Your move Vornado!


Eliot Brown at the Observer weighs in on the possible Durst/Vornado replacement: "Unclear is what the next step is from here. The M.T.A. could conceivably go back to the other bidders—a team of the Durst Organization and Vornado Realty Trust had a bid within about $40 million of Tishman’s—though presumably the bids would be lowered should Tishman’s $1 billion bid be out of the picture."