Welcome to the Hudson Yards! New York City’s newest edition to Manhattan and spans from 43rd street all the way down to 30th street. It’s also located on the western part of the island and is currently going through a major reconstruction meant to reshape the area into a more modern residential and commercial area. This has actually lead to the area being seen more as a modern Millionaires Row because of the massive upscaling the neighborhood is going through. The lead developers of this reconstruction project is Oxford Properties and The Related Companies, however most of the planning, funding, and construction was set up under agreements by the State of New York, City of New York, and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (better known as the MTA). There are also a number of foreign companies are large investors as well. This reconstruction is being done in order to expand the business district that is originally located in Midtown Manhattan. The redevelopment is being done right over the Long Island Rail Road train storage yard, located over the West Side Yard. The city plans to revamp this area into a what can be considered “the next step into the city of tomorrow”. While this can be seen as just fancy talk they are actually delivering on there promise. The Hudson Yards has only recently opened and despite opening right before the pandemic hit, it is doing well and slowly building its reputation within the city.
The Hudson Yards was designed by a number of architects who all had their own vision as to how they wanted to create the Hudson Yards. The main architect firm was lead by Kohn Pedersen Fox, who helped design the entire plans for the site. Other architects involved are Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM), Thomas Heatherwick, Foster + Partners, Roche-Dinkeloo, Diller Scofidio + Renfro. All these architects helped design the major buildings there, including office buildings and residential space. The office spaces in the Hudson Yards are occupied by well known companies such as CNN, Sidewalk Labs, BCG, and even a fashion company Tapestry. Construction of the Hudson Yards began in 2012 and the opening was in 2019 on March 15th.
The Hudson Yards was previously looked at in order to build a brand new stadium that was meant to be the home of the New York Jets. Not only the new home of the Jets but the stadium was also meant to host the 2012 Olympics. This stadium was actually in development since the early 2000’s and was named the New York Sports and Convention Center, the shorter name being the West Side Stadium. Despite the plans eventually falling through because of legal and political disputes there was still a clear vision. Eventually there was an agreement between the local government, the MTA, various other investors, and the state of New York. This agreement eventually led the way for the development of the Hudson Yards that is known today.
The redevelopment and reconstruction of the Hudson Yards was funded by multiple corporate and private investors from all over the world. One of the primary investors is the Mitsui Fudosan Group, a Japanese real estate developer that has bought stake from New York City before. Mitsui’s had acquired the Exxon Building back in the 1980’s and has now invested up to $1.25 billion into the Hudson Yards. This investment is the largest overseas project by a Japanese real estate company in history. Following the Mitsui Group their are also a number of investors via the EB-5 investment Program, which allows foreigners, whether corporate or private, to invest a minimum of $500,000 into New York City real estate. Most of the investors via the EB-5 program are from Chinese based companies, not just in the newly built Hudson Yards but in many other New York real estate. This has actually sparked some controversy within the city however it is undeniable the good that the Hudson Yards does for New York City.
The new additions to the city via the Hudson Yards are meant to provide New York with new financial incentives. There is now a 3 million square foot commercial office space, 24 million square feet of new office space in total, in the Hudson Yards. 1 million square feet of new retail space and 200 retail stores along with dining and a 24 hour market, Mercado Little Spain. Among these these new stores include Dior, Dunhill, Faherty, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, and many others. The Hudson Yards also features an abundance of new jewelry shops such as; Marli New York, Messika, Monica Rich Kosann, Panerai, Pandora, Tiffany & Co, and many many more. There are also a number of health and beauty stores in the Hudson Yards, not just a Duane Reade, but stores such as Keihl’s, Molton Brown, M.A.C Cosmetics, Sundays, Sephora, and so many more. Sundays provides more than just beauty-care but also practices self-care and a “..wellness-inspired nail care…”. This is one of the many entertainment services that are provided by the Hudson Yards for its visitors. Some of the other forms of entertainment provided are done so by companies such as; Genesis Studio, Strictly Cycling Collective, The Conservatory, and a number of more. Most of these shops are spread around the Hudson Yards and in order to find were everything is they have a directory online. Finally there’s also 2 million square feet of new hotels, including a new headquarters hotel for the Javits Convention Center.
Apart from all the shops they have available at the Hudson Yards there are also a number of outdoor areas that you can visit as well. Development of the Hudson Park & Boulevard (Bella Abzug Park) was planned all the way back in 2005 and has lead to a new, 4 acre system of tree-lined parks and open space. This development was done in order to help transform the area from its old industrial neighborhood to new, pedestrian-friendly mixed-use district. The new additions to the park include, grassy areas, walking paths, farmers markets, and even outdoor movies. The park will also honor the civil rights activist, Bella Abzug (1920-1998). Bella Savitzky Abzug was a lawyer, social activist, U.S. representative, and feminist.
With the area expanding there was also a demand for an expansion of the subway line in order to get transportation into the Hudson Yards. One of the train lines that was expanded in order to accommodate for this was the 7 track. The line was extended from Times Square (42nd Street) to West 34th street and 11th Avenue. This was done in order to make the 7 subway line just a 10 minute walk from the Hudson Yards. They also added new ventilation buildings in the area in order to help keep the subways safe. The new additions meant that a new platform would be needed in order to support the buildings and parks.
The city has built a 13 acre platform on both the Eastern Rail Yard and the Western Rail Yard. This platform is being supported by 300 Caissons which can take the weight of the platform, the buildings, and the people walking around. The platform itself took a very long time to complete due to the nature of the build and the surrounding area. The platform being built over the railway they could only build for around 2 hours at a time.
The expansion of the railroad was done to help with the influx of visitors, with so many new people coming in the neighborhood there needed to be a manageable transportation service. Most New Yorkers opt to use the MTA subway system which is why the city had chosen to expand it. However despite it being the most used system in New York it is not very reliable at times. Luckily New York has an abundance of different high luxury transportation companies. New York City car services are every where in the city however there are only a few good limo services in New York. While you can opt to use an app based transportation companies, often times those vehicles are dirty, have unvaccinated drivers, and aren’t even registered as licensed drivers in New York. Luckily their are car services in New York that operate on a much more serious level, working as black car service rather than just a regular service. An example of this is My Destiny Limo, who constantly check all of their drivers for any health issues, clean their vehicles every chance they get and, like most limo services in NYC, can go for long distance trips out of state. Often times these companies can go as far as New York to New Jersey, New York to Pennsylvania, and even New York to Connecticut. Some limo services will take you even further out, New York to Washington D.C., or even New York to Massachusetts. So if you’re worried about finding a way to get to and around the Hudson Yards, no need! New York has plenty to offer.
The Hudson Yards may have had controversy during construction and despite its difficult planning and funding it still serves as a vision for the city of tomorrow. Not just as with its technological wonders and fascinating artistic structures but it also leads the way to new housing projects. The Hudson Yards has its own affordable housing plan which allows people to sign up for a lottery that gives them a chance to live in the new buildings in New York City. This is another great way New York City is getting more people to visit the Hudson Yards. With all the stores and plazas in the Hudson Yards anyone can find something to do in the Neighborhood.