Friday, July 08, 2011

MTA says upgraded Vanderbilt Yard is on schedule, but won't specify whether Forest City completed required construction documents by June 2011 deadline

So, is the replacement Vanderbilt Yard--smaller, but modernized, and part of a 2009 deal to save Forest City Ratner significant sums--on schedule?

Yes, says the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), but it looks like there are some question marks.'

The requirements

According to page 7 (right) of the MTA Staff Summary (below) regarding the revised 2009 Vanderbilt Yard deal, Forest City Ratner was supposed to complete "100% Improved Yard construction documents by June 2011."

"Do you know if that has occurred?" I asked the MTA. "And, if so, does that mean that the permanent railyard is on schedule?"

"The project is on schedule," MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan responded. "Design and construction are being fast-tracked in stages, with North Portion of Permanent Yard already in construction."

Lingering questions

That didn't quite answer my question, so I followed up two days ago by asking if the documents had been completed. I also asked yesterday if there was a timetable for finishing the upgraded railyard.

I didn't get an answer, which leaves me wondering: Is Forest City changing the rules? In other words, is it moving ahead with the railyard but has not completed the construction documents?

I'd say it's a reasonable bet.

Updated: I got an answer this morning from Donavan: "I don’t know about the documents. The overall status is that permanent yard design and construction are being fast-tracked in stages to advance the overall development. The north portion of the permanent yard design was completed and construction started in January 2011, ahead of the required construction commencement deadline of June 30, 2012."

That's pretty confusing. The MTA should know.

MTA Staff Summary Regarding June 2009 Revision of Vanderbilt Yard Deal

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