(This story, in slightly different form, originally appeared in the American Lawyer.)

NEW YORK CITY-On Wednesday, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the largest public transportation system in the US, awarded Tishman Speyer Properties the right to develop the city’s West Side rail yards, as GlobeSt.com previously reported.Representing Tishman in the request for proposals process were Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson real estate partners Jonathan Mechanic and Stephen Lefkowitz, along with associates Molly Dunham and Daniel Benavides.

Tishman’s winning offer of more than $1 billion trumped proposals from rival real estate heavyweights Vornado Realty Trust and the Durst Organization, who bid jointly. Tishman’s plan calls for five office towers covering 8.1 million sf of space, as well as 3,230 rental and condominium apartments, parks, cultural centers and a school.

Mechanic, chair of the firm’s real estate practice, previously represented Tishman in its $5.4 billion acquisition of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village apartment complex in 2006. “[Jon] is one of three or four leaders of the real estate bar in New York,” billionaire developer Larry Silverstein told the American Lawyer last year. “His integrity is absolute and his confidence is legion‹you can tell him anything and trust him implicitly.”

Mechanic also represented Tishman in its $1.7 billion acquisition of the MetLife Building at 200 Park Ave., in 2005. At the time, the deal set a record for the highest price sale of an office building in the US.

Brian Baxter can be reached at a [email protected].

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