The West Side Rail Yards RFP Is Coming

Governor Spitzer is expected to come to town tomorrow to release the request for proposals for developing the M.T.A. rail yards on the West Side, according to two individuals close to the process.

The move is, frankly, a bit anti-climactic: the four development teams who have been reportedly working on plans to turn the six blocks there into a skyscraper city have gotten pretty far along already, just based on informal conversations with officials. But the document will lay out the specifications for how to shape those proposals in a fairly definitive way: how much office space, where the park goes, whether affordable housing will be required, will the High Line be saved, how high they can build, etc.

The RFP was originally scheduled to go out at the end of May. Bids will be due in three months.

“In the agreement made last September, everybody knew that was an impossible deadline,” says Anna Levin, the co-chairwoman for Community Board 4’s Clinton/Hell's Kitchen Land Use Committee. “I don’t think you should beat up on them too hard for that.”

Ms. Levin said that she had received a call alerting her that the announcement would be made Friday. A city official confirmed the news and said the press conference will take place somewhere on the site in the West 30s. Official word has not come from the M.T.A. or from the Governor's office.