The Related Companies’ bid is all about News Corp., the running back the developer drafted to drive deep into the West Side.
“Because of the guidelines, everybody’s pretty much looks the same," Related’s chairman, Stephen M. Ross, said about the West Side Rail Yards proposals that were shown to the press Sunday (and are now on display to the public). “Nobody’s got real architecture yet anyway. So it’s really about the concept about what you are doing, why is yours more unique and how do we look at this.”
Related’s architectural model event sort of looked half-finished: it showed just the first 10 or so floors of the buildings’ bases. The reason was to show off the ground-floor experience. (Accompanying renderings do show the tops of the towers.)
But it was clear that Mr. Ross is not using pretty buildings and cordial landscaping to sell this bid anyway. He’s using Rupert Murdoch.
“It was important to us to see how we could meet their vision, their needs, how we could take their brands and make a great place,” Mr. Ross continued. “So, to give you some examples, we can have movies in the park here: with the river behind you, 20th Century Fox showing the premiere of their weekly movies in the park in the summer time. This is about how people will want to come here. We will have the studios over there, placing them in the right locations, using their brands, Fox Sports, Fox Business, The Wall Street Journal, taking these different things and using them to advantage, activating the space with them.”
MySpace would be there too, along with concert series (as pictured above). Pre-game NFL shows and presidential debates could also be shown on the big screen.
It was unclear whether he would scare New Yorkers or excite them with all this talk about giving Mr. Murdoch’s companies such a, um, platform. But Mr. Ross scored big last time he invited a media company under his roof: Time Warner bought its space at cost, but gave Related the leverage it needed to win the competition for the Coliseum site. This time, Mr. Ross said NewsCorp. is getting a “great deal,” but would not be more specific.
The flagship tower, to be designed, like most of the commercial space, by Kohn Pedersen Fox, would rise about 1,100 feet high and include two million square feet, enough to allow Mr. Murdoch consolidate his New York offices. It would be located on 10th Avenue and have a large plaza on its western flank looking out onto an axis of open space that would reach to the river. Another building would house the first-ever Equinox hotel.
A number of other residential buildings (designed by Robert A.M. Stern) and office towers (designed by KPF and Arquitectonica) complete the bid. Some 440 apartments would be permanently affordable.