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Carter's View

Goldman Sachs has withdrawn as minority partner with The Related Cos. as the designated developer for the West Side rail yards of the Metropolitan Transportation Administration.

At the same time, Related has obtained a two-month extension of its deadline for signing an agreement for the deal with the M.T.A. It issued a statement Friday that it "is and remains the majority partner of the venture," adding that Goldman Sachs has informed us that they will no longer be moving forward as a minority partner.

A related spokesperson, Joanna Rose, was quoted in a January 29, 2009 article at by Eliot Brown that "Related remains fully committed and has the capabilities to execute on this historic development opportunity to create New York's next great neighborhood."

The article quoted a M.T.A. memo it obtained Friday that said that "Related has until March 31 to sign the contract, when it will have to plunk down a $21.75 million and trigger another $21.75 million in payments over the following year." The deal is valued by the M.T.A. at $1 billion "in today's dollars" for a 99-year lease. The article also noted that the project calls for the creation of 12 million square feet of residential and commercial space at an estimate cost of about $15 billion.

The M.T.A. maintains that "the development of the Far West Side has reached significant milestones recently, including the re-zoning of the Western Rail Yard and the completion of the first phase of construction on the extension of the #7 line, both of which occurred in December," adding that "we remain excited and optimistic about finalizing our agreements with Related to advance these transit-oriented developments on Manhattan's West Side."

The city originally wanted to build a football stadium over the western and eastern yards that are separated by 11th Avenue. That plan, however, was subsequently abandoned and five development teams then vied for the rights to develop the sites. Tishman Speyer Properties was chosen by the city, but then withdrew and the city named the Related Companies as the developer of the sites that are between 30th and 33rd streets and 10th and 12th Avenues in West Midtown.

Last month, Mayor Bloomberg declared that "With the rezoning in place and the extension of the No. 7 subway line on the way, the area is finally poised to become a vibrant new residential and commercial neighborhood with more than 10 acres of open space, new cultural amenities and a new public school." He added, however, that "it may be years before the first building is erected, given the recession, widespread layoffs and hundreds of stalled residential projects in the city."
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.