After four delays in 18 months, the MTA has finally struck a deal with the Related Companies to develop the rail yards on the Far West Side into 26 mixed-use acres of skyscrapers and lawns known as Hudson Yards. But for those hoping that the long-awaited agreement would provide financial relief for the cash-strapped MTA and prevent subway fares from rising again in the near future, er, sorry.
The Observer's Eliot Brownruns through some key points in the deal, which still has to be approved by the MTA's board and signed by Related. The developer's rent payments on its 99-year lease don't begin until the deal closes, and the deal doesn't close until certain triggers are hit—like the Midtown office vacancy rate falling to 11%, and Manhattan apartment prices reaching an average of $1,200/foot for a sustained period. Might this be a 99-year lease that doesn't begin for 99 years? Well, the MTA can call in the deal whenever it wants, giving Related 90 days to close or else! Or else it, um, walks away from the risky venture and the MTA has to start over. 2019 never looked so far away, amigos.