As Related’s Hudson Yards project closes in on a second major office lease for its planned first tower, MTA chairman Joseph Lhota told the New York Post that the developer is attempting to amend its unsigned 99-year-lease.
Although officials at Related deny asking for any changes, Lhota said: “Yes, Related has approached the MTA to amend the existing deal. I am willing to entertain it so long as the MTA’s interests are fully protected. Any amendment would require approval by the MTA board.”
Lhota isn’t saying what kinds of changes Related is asking for at the 26-acre site, but, according to the Post, it’s is possible that the issue involves luxury bag maker Coach, which will set up its headquarters at 501 West 30th Street when the building is complete in 2015.
Rumors are circulating that Related founder Stephen Ross wants to “sever” construction of the Coach tower from Related’s other obligations at the railyards site. For instance, ending its obligation to pay rent on all 26 acres within three years of the Coach ground-breaking, according to the Post. However, neither party is willing to comment on the matter.
Ground was supposed to be broken on the initial tower in the coming weeks, but construction cannot start until the lease is officially signed and new negotiations with the MTA could delay development. [NYP] —Christopher Cameron