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NEW YORK CITY-Officials put out the call for a development plan for the Hudson rail yards on the West Side, seeking new ideas from developers for the once proposed Jets stadium as GlobeSt.com reported Friday. The MTA is seeking proposals that include a combination of commercial, residential and open space for the 26-acre site. This advancement not only creates an opportunity for the winning developer or developers of the site, but allows companies who already own parcels of land in the surrounding area a chance to get in on the action.

One such company, Sherwood Equities Inc., has, over the years, been assembling two key development sites on the West Side near the rail yards site. The first parcel is located at 34th Street and 10th Avenue on a 65,000-sf footprint, where plans exist to build either a 2.5 million-sf office building or a 2,500-room hotel or condo/hotel is in the works. The second site, located on 10th Avenue between 35th and 36th Street is planned as a 35-story, 200-unit residential building. Plans have been produced for the developments, however the commencement of the projects have been dependable on favorable market conditions, including the development of the Hudson Yards site.

Jeff Katz, president & CEO of New York City-based Sherwood, tells GlobeSt.com that he has been expecting Friday’s announcement for some time. “I think that what is being done is exactly what needs to be done,” he says. “The land sat there for years and years, and I am optimistic about getting the ball rolling.”

Katz says that Sherwood is waiting to see what will happen with Hudson Yards before determining whether they should go towards the office or hotel property type on the 34th Street site. “At this point it can go either way, but we are in the early stages at the moment.”

Katz notes that he expects to see bids for development rights of Hudson Yards from the usual cast of characters including Tishman Speyer Properties, Related Companies, Brookfield Properties, the Durst Organization, Vornado Realty Trust and others although he pointed out two hesitations developers may have regarding the site. “The first is that getting a subway line in place is essential, not so much for residential property, but for office buildings in the area, which should be completed by 2013,” he says. “The second hesitation is that no one wants to be one to make the first move.”

For Sherwood, Katz notes that the company has owned the sites in the area for a very long time. “We have been waiting for the area to develop since we bought the property in 1986, what’s another year of two?” Katz says.

“It is the beginning of a new district of New York,” Katz explains, adding that the most important thing at this point is figuring out how everything is going to get started in the area. “We should see things moving forward and start to happen by the end of this year…hopefully.”

Sherwood has developed or currently owns 2 Times Square, 1600 Broadway, 1 Times Square, The Coronado (Broadway & 70th St.), The Saratoga (1st & 75th) as well as other properties in the area. Several major developments are in the planning stages.

Katz notes, “Hudson is finally becoming a reality.”

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