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Hudson Yards: a Neighbourhood That Is Growing Five Times Faster Than the Rest of Manhattan

Hudson Yards was known as a neighbourhood that lagged behind the rest of Manhattan on residential, commercial and retail use, with significantly higher amount of low-grade garage and storage space. Today, Hudson Yards is a sea of cranes, with phase one of the build well underway.

Full Transformation

The platform over the Eastern Yard section of the site is almost complete, and 10 million ft2 of buildings are now coming out of the ground. But the Midtown South area around Hudson Yards has already changed beyond recognition. Five years ago, the anticipated arrival of the subway, combined with investment in green spaces, including the conversion of an old elevated rail track into the High Line Park, began to draw companies including Google, Sony and IAC to locate there. It is now growing five times faster than the rest of Manhattan, and has become the number-one destination for galleries, restaurants and parks.

 

 Variety of Experiences

“Business now recognizes this as one of the most appealing areas to be,” says Andrew Cantor, vice president of development at Related. “The companies that are growing in New York are moving to the west side, for a variety of experiences you can have beyond just having a typical office building.” The average household income of the neighbourhood is on a par with the rest of Manhattan, but it’s skewed towards a younger, single demographic, he adds. “Millennials are really driving the neighbourhoods that are coming. They’re looking for a mixed-use experience, and that’s what we’re going to deliver.”

Last year, Related opened Abington House just to the south of the Eastern Yard, a luxury apartment building with 400 units for rent overlooking the High Line. It is fully occupied, and commanding the highest rents in Related’s portfolio. “That’s a dramatic change – it used to be the Upper East Side that had the highest rents.”

 
 

Crop of New Buildings, Abundance of Uses

Abington House looked tall when it was first built, but not for long. Now under construction, 15 Hudson Yards will offer 70 storeys of apartments, and be one of the tallest residential buildings in the city. 35 Hudson Yards will follow in 2019, more than 1,000ft tall with a mix of residential, hotel, office and retail space.

Then there’s the Culture Shed, an expandable structure on rails that will host large travelling art exhibitions and New York Fashion Week, which has committed to relocate from the Lincoln Center uptown. There will also be a seven-storey mall, where Related secured something of a coup when it tempted luxury department store Neiman Marcus to open its first New York store.

 
 

There are three office buildings under construction. The first, 10 Hudson Yards, will open in March, and be home to tenants including L’Oreal, Coach, SAP and Boston Consulting Group. In 2019, will come 30 Hudson Yards, at 1,296ft (395m) the tallest building on the site and the second-tallest office building in the city. Anchor tenant Time Warner has signed up for 38 of its 90 floors, while at the top, the city’s highest outdoor observation deck is expected to draw 2 million visitors each year.

Offering World-Class Office Space

Over the subway station itself, 55 Hudson Yards will sit at the centre of the scheme, and is being marketed at tech, professional services and law firms. “Most office space in New York is more than 50 years old, so the idea here was to build something that will be first-rate and world class,” says Cantor. “That means floor-to-ceiling glass in every space and as many outdoor spaces as we can build in throughout the buildings. That was a critical requirement.”

 
 

Getting the Public Space Right

Public space at ground level is also a key feature of Hudson Yards. In all, there will be 14 acres, laid out by British designer Thomas Heatherwick. “Getting the public space right is probably one of the most important things to make a project feel authentic and exciting,” says Cantor.

The new station at 34th Street opened in September 2015. Taking the 7 line to Hudson Yards is quite an experience – the slick new 34th Street station is more like an airport than a New York subway. Right now, few passengers remain on the train after Times Square, but the considerable size of the station offers a clue as to the plans for the neighbourhood: when the whole scheme is complete in 2024, 65,000 visitors are expected every day.

“Beforehand everyone said it’s going to feel too crowded,” says Cantor. “Now everyone says it feels too spacious, which just goes to show that you can’t please New Yorkers. But it’s ready for the development that is forthcoming.”