Unsurprisingly, builders yesterday were wary about making an offer for the air rights for the West Side railyards, which the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has opened up for the next month to public bidding. While "licking their chops" at the prospect of such a large parcel of land on the isle of Manhattan, it's clear to developers that dousing Mayor Michael Bloomberg's dreams of a Jets stadium (and the possibility of the city hosting the 2012 Olympics) would carry serious repercussions for anyone who might desire a city permit in the near future.

Bloomberg, for his part, took the opportunity yesterday to blast Cablevision owners Charles and James Dolan (who last week offered $600 million for the railyards site, presumably to keep a nearby stadium from competing with their Madison Square Garden) as selfish monopolists and bad businessmen. The mayor said that the Jets' offer of $100 million for the rights was the only "legitimate" offer, and that he was confident the team would prevail in the open bidding.

The MTA's position is a tough one. Chairman Peter Kalikow has said repeatedly for the past six months in public hearings that his cash-strapped agency can't and won't cut a sweetheart deal for the Jets on the development rights, which the agency believes are worth $300 million. Nonetheless it took a lot of courage (noted rightly by Juan Gonzales in the News) to open the site to a public bidding process, even if some critics doubt the process will really be fair. According to the Post, the MTA's offer to open up the site to bids has caused the Jets to start rethinking the move, opening talks with New Jersey about the possibility of staying at the Meadowlands.

Image by Rachelle Bowden from her trip on the High Line