Hudson Yards is open for business.
I had sat in a presentation about Hudson Yards what I had thought was a year ago.
Turns out that it was THREE years ago.
And I wrote about it, which you can visit here:
What has happened since then?
- The 7 train opened about 18 months ago nearby, bringing the necessary convenient public transportation to the area
- The 3rd and final Highline phase was completed and opened, allowing a walking corridor that can take you from 34th street all the way to the West Village
- 10 Hudson Yards opened about about 4 months ago (!), the first of the commercial buildings to be completed.
This is a commercial building already home to L’Oreal, Coach, VaynerMedia, and others; the building is almost entirely leased up.
- The 15 Hudson Yards sales office.
This is the first of four (4) residential buildings to be marketed.
I visited the 15 Hudson Yards sales office, which opened less than a month ago, at the end of last week.
I’m still in awe.
They have dubbed the entire project “A New Neighborhood for the Next Generation.”
I’ve lived in new york for 15 years.
suppose that every newcomer to this city takes ownership of what she thinks is the New York City she knows.
That definition, what New York is, is ever-changing.
In this case, being in the Yards, feels like you are standing on the precipice of
something completely new.
You can already feel the city absorbing the contours of the space that’s in creation.
First, the sales office is on the 24th floor of the 10 hudson yards building.
It feels modern, incorporates breathtakingly high ceilings and space, all of the elements which make Grand Central such a spirit-lifting space.
Large, airy, bright, clean, forward-leaning- but you enter beneath the Highline, this hunk of metal more than a century old.
In every way it feels like a departure from the street into a spaceship.
The sales office windows for 15 HY don’t just look South; the office also looks down onto what is probably a 300-foot atrium space of the building.
These design elements bring so much air into the building.
Let’s hope that the residential building design make similarly intelligent choices.
Related and Oxford hold the reins on what is dubbed the “Eastern Yards,” that runs from 30th to 33rd streets, and 10th to 11th avenues.
Brookfield will be tackling the Western Yards, and other major developers are filling in around the outside of the official project.
They are making huge, indelible stamps on NYC.
15 Hudson Hards lies on the Northeast corner of 11th avenue and 30th street, with entrances from 30th street (the affordable component entrance and condominium entrance) and an entrance from the North Side, which is off the street, closer to the 7 train entrance.
A few takeaways of note:
- The Culture Shed – This building sits directly next to the Culture Shed, which lies to the East in between the building and 10 Hudson Hards.
The building does feel like that gigantic brown vehicle – the Jawas’ Sandcrawler (I looked it up) – which moved around in in Star Wars.
- Affordable Housing – The affordable component of the building, up to the 24th floor, allows the real estate taxes to be abated for a period of 20 years.
Say what you will about the distortion effects of tax abatements, it certainly seems to allow the city and developers to tackle several goals: (1) Building affordable housing (2) Building Taller (3) Luring buyers to a new neighborhood through reduced carrying charges – and many others.
- The Vessel, at $150MM sculpture, is going to be amazing.
It has been panned in many publications, for its cost and design, but I’m sold.
The size and scale are so over the top.
There is nothing tentative about it.
People are making a comparison to Rockefeller Center- to its atlas sculpture.
In my view, these designs have to bold, daring, novel, confident gestures that will carry New York into this century.
While it is a bit M.C. Escher-esque, the effect will be to allow tourists and participants to experience the Yards in a very different way, from a different vantage point.
And a space-age elevator makes the Rose Planetarium look pretty pedestrian by comparison.
I do think the impact will be be even bigger.
A glowing beacon to draw in New Yorkers.
A shrine to design, space, allowing us to feel we’re part of something much larger.
- The Shopping Center– Without the commercial portions, Hudson Yards would dead, desolate, lifeless- a few of the passing feelings I experience in some pockets of Jersey City, Hoboken, further North along the Hudson, where there simply are not enough people to create what is happening at Hudson Yards.
Along 10th avenue, connected to 10 Hudson Yards, is a 7-story luxury mall, the likes of which did not exist in Manhattan prior to Time Warner Center.
The concept has expanded with Brookfield Place in Battery Park, but this is larger and more dynamic. Neiman Marcus is the anchor, will include Saks, along with so many luxury brands.
Multiple restaurants curated by Thomas Keller.
On and on.
The word “mall” really does not connote the right feeling.
It seems way too yucky for what this promises to deliver.
Freely admitting that that I’m not the target audience for
the mall, I have seen a version of what this could become.
Last year, having gone Shanghai and Hong Kong, I have seen the vertical mall in its glory.
I have witnessed in Pudong or Hong Kong how insanely beautiful these designs can be, how inviting.
I believe that New York has the capacity to create destinations that may not be possible in Asia or elsewhere- the malls in Asia felt pretty empty compared to what I expect of the Hudson Yards space.
I’m not sure why, as we do not have as many people as Asian cities do, but perhaps there may be more drawing power.
Perhaps someone can help explain it to me.
- The Views
Zaha Hadid’s building on 28th street, her last project before she died- which I wrote about, about a year ago, looks stunning from here.
The building features Southern views which are protected overlooking West Chelsea’s varied and interesting new projects and lower manhattan that are unique in their scope.
Manhattan is unfolding at such an amazing rate these days.
- Oh Yeah.
A short note about the project itself.
The building, which will also be 90 stories, give or take, with nearly 250 units, is in keeping with the scale of Hudson Yards.
The layouts offer dynamic city views and the protected Southern views I referenced above.
The Western Hudson River views will shift or disappear over time, as will the North and East views.
The presentation does a solid job of showing you how views will change.
The layouts and variety of apartment sizes (all 1bedroom units sold) have all seen a great deal of interest.
There is a 20-year tax abatement as I mentioned before.
12 years of low taxes, then steps up to the full amounts.
Eventually the monthly costs will be very high- but I don’t think that one can avoid these high real estate taxes, only postpone them.
The asking prices seem to be set to encourage buyers to step up.
3000 square foot 4 bedroom apartments are asking less than $3000 per square foot on very high floors.
This, compared with more established locations where prices have already achieved 25-30% higher.
The finishes are varied by odd- or even-floor, with a white and off-white palette vs a slightly more masculine grey and darker wood option.
Both are lovely.
I wouldn’t expect anything less from Related.
That said, what people are buying here is a vision of a new neighborhood.
The prices are still high by comparison to most anything outside New York.
I see this competing with Central Park South for the attention of foreign buyers, along with intrepid investors and trendsetting New Yorkers who feel this has more to offer than West Chelsea.
Either way, I’m a big fan.
I have to assume at some point people will look back on all of this and shrug, but as the project unfolds over the next 7-8 years to completion, it seems pretty clear that what the various developers are doing remarkable work.