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Community Calls on the MTA to Require Sustainable Development at the West Side Rail Yards

The community-based Hudson Yards Community Advisory Committee (HYCAC) released their response to the West Side Rail Yards proposals today in a letter to the MTA. Among the highlights:

(1) HYCAC requests that the MTA require a commitment to sustainable construction from whichever developer is awarded the project. Currently, three of the development teams (Brookfield, Durst-Vornado, and Tishman Speyer) have pledged to seek LEED Gold certification for their buildings, and three (Brookfield, Durst-Vornado, and Related) have promised to attain certification under the LEED for Neighborhood Development (“LEED-ND”) system.

(2) The group asks that the historic High Line be preserved in its entirety, including the spur over 30th Street, strongly stating that “anything less than full preservation is unacceptable.” Proposals by Brookfield, Extell, and Related all currently provide for preservation of the High Line.

(3) With regard to other open space, the HYCAC suggests that bigger may not always be better. Besides fears of creating a wind tunnel that would render a large park unusable, the group is concerned that bigger spaces would be more difficult to program and wouldn’t feel like a natural part of the fabric of the city.

The MTA should make their developer selection within the next couple of months.

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