MTA to Let Related Start Work on Tower at NYC Rail Yards

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority may allow Related Cos. to start work on the first tower in its Hudson Yards project on Manhattan’s west side without a formal financing deal in place.

Related, whose chairman is Stephen Ross, would be able to proceed with $50 million worth of site work, according to a memo released today by the MTA. The deal gives the New York-based developer time to get financing for the project and complete an agreement for Coach Inc. (COH), the luxury handbag maker, to occupy a portion of the skyscraper, according to the memo.

The MTA board is scheduled to vote on the agreement at its meeting on Nov. 28, Aaron Donovan, a spokesman for the agency, said in an e-mail.

Related plans to build more than 12 million square feet (1.1 million square meters) of mixed development over the MTA’s train yards near the Hudson River, a project Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year compared to London’s Canary Wharf for its potential to expand the city’s business district, already the largest in the U.S.

The start of construction of the 46-story first tower is “imminent,” Joanna Rose,a Related spokeswoman, said in an e- mail. The 26-acre (10 hectare) project “will transform the west side into a vibrant new neighborhood, create tens of thousands of jobs and serve as the commercial headquarters home to world- class global brands,” she said.

The total cost of the 1.7 million-square-foot tower is more than $1 billion, Rose said. Occupancy is slated for 2015.

While Related must officially commit by June 1 to lease the eastern portion of the yards, “we expect it will be much sooner -- within the next month or so,” Donovan said. Under earlier agreements, Related had the right to defer completion of the lease until certain economic “triggers” were met, he said.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporters on this story: David M. Levitt in New York at dlevitt@bloomberg.net; Esme E. Deprez in New York at edeprez@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kara Wetzel at kwetzel@bloomberg.net

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