NEW YORK CITY-Shovels will begin moving dirt soon at the Hudson Yards redevelopment on Manhattan’s Far West Side under a modified contract approved Wednesday by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board of directors. The revised contract allows Related Cos. to begin foundation work on the headquarters for Coach Inc. before closing on its deal with the MTA for the 26-acre site.

In exchange, though, Related is committing for the first time to a firm closing date: June 1, 2013. Previously, the developer had the right to hold off signing on the dotted line for the Eastern Rail Yard portion of the site, and begin paying rent on its 99-year lease, until three triggers in the city’s real estate market were met: Midtown’s office availability rate declining to 11%, apartment sale prices reaching an average $1,200 per square foot and the AIA Architectural Billings Index hitting 50. The three markers have not yet been met.

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