A little over a decade ago, in the ashes of the failed West Side Stadium plans, New York City floated the idea of creating a "new Rockefeller Center" over the West Side rail yards. Now, about 12 million square feet of ultra-luxe, taxpayer-subsidized commercial and residential space, not to mention acres of public space and a cultural center, opens as the Hudson Yards this Friday, March 15th.
The tract that opens this week "just" features the buildings built over the Eastern Rail Yard (another 6.2 million square feet of commercial and residential space, plus a school, is slated for the Western Rail Yard, whose platform has yet to be built).
First and foremost, here's HOW TO GET THERE: Hudson Yards is bordered by 10th and 11th Avenue on the east and west, and West 30th Street and West 33rd Street/West 34th Street to the south and north. You can enter Hudson Yards at 30th Street and 10th Avenue, by the High Line, too. For public transit, you can take the 7 line to the last stop in Manhattan, 34th Street-Hudson Yards, or take the M34, M11, or M12 buses.
And here's a break down of what you'll be finding in this new miniature city that feels nothing like New York:
Vessel (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
PUBLIC SPACE AND ACTIVITIES(Enter from 33rd Street between 10th and 11 Avenues or from 11th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets)
Vessel: The centerpiece of Hudson Yards overall is this $200 million interactive public art installation, which was envisioned to be New York's Eiffel Tower. Conceived by British designer Thomas Heatherwick, Vessel is made up of 154 interlocking staircases—about 2,500 steps—that rises 150 feet and winds around to offer 360-degree views. Visitors are encouraged to spend at least 30 minutes exploring the space. Website; open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and free tickets are required. There is also elevator access.
The Shed: The Shed is Hudson Yards’ resident performance space. Opening on April 5th, the venue features an amalgamation of innovators and avant-garde artists across music, theater, film, and visual art alike in its first season. Highlights include a five-night Soundtrack of America series celebrating the critical works of contemporary African-American luminaries including PJ Morton, Kelsey Lu, serpentwithfeet, and Moses Sumney, and a highly-anticipated new production by the inimitable Björk, Cornucopia, that she described on Twitter as something "where the acoustic and digital will shake hands, encouraged by a bespoke team of collaborators." The Shed also has retractable "shell" that can expand the space for big performances (see a video from architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro). Website; located at 15 Hudson Yards, on West 30th Street between 10th and 11th Avenues; ticket information here.
The Shed (Scott Lynch / Gothamist)
Gardens: On the five acres of public space, Hudson Yards says there will be more than 28,000 plants and 200 mature trees. Besides a Pavilion Grove of trees and a mile of garden seating, there is a birch grove at 10th Avenue and 30th Street plus a new entrance to the High Line. It's hoped that migrating birds and pollinators will be attracted to the flora.
Observation deck: In 2020, the "edge" and its 7,500 outdoor observation deck will open on the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards. It will be the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, offering panoramic views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and New Jersey. Website; 30 Hudson Yards, 100th floor; opening in 2020.
Snark Park: Every new development needs an Instagram-ready experience, right? Located in the Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, New York studio Snarkitecture has created a number of immersive installations which will change on a regular basis. The cost of bringing this experience to your IG feed? Too much... Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 2nd Floor; Tickets are $32 for adults and $28 for children.
A map of the buildings that are open or opening this year (Hudson Yards)
FOOD: Developers made sure that food would make Hudson Yards a destination, and they pulled out all the stops, involving name brand chefs, like Thomas Keller, José Andres, and David Chang, to help put their marks on different venues. Most of the restaurants are at the mall, the Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, but some others are off-site. (Note: some restaurants are not opening March 15th—check the Hudson Yards website for more details.)
At the Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, 20 Hudson Yards
Restaurants and bars at the Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards
TAK Room: French Laundry and Per Se chef Thomas Keller brings his take on continental cuisine, promising tableside preparations, champagne carts, and live music. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 5th and 6th floors; open Tuesday-Saturday for dinner only, 5:30 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
Estiatorio Milos: Gothamist’s own Ben Yakas dubs this Mediterranean restaurant’s take on the classic taverna meal “the best upscale Greek food in NYC, and possibly the world.” Don’t miss the Milos Special, a mighty tower comprised of fried cheese and zucchini. Website; The Shops & Restaurants at 20 Hudson Yards, 5th Floor; open for lunch Monday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m and open for dinner, 6:00 p.m.-11:30 p.m.
Kawi: David Chang's Momofuku Group is bringing a "luxe" fine dining restaurant, with chef Eunjo “Jo” Park channeling her influences, including her time in Korea and working alongside Chang. Tableside preparations are expected. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 5th floor; hours TBD (reservations).
Wild Ink: Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese-inspired small plates are central to this sweeping eatery’s menu, conceptualized by culinary stalwarts Executive Chef Peter Jin (formerly of Hotel 50 Bowery) and Creative Director Tien Ho (Momofuku).Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 5th floor; Open for lunch from 11:30am-5:00pm Monday-Sunday, and dinner Monday-Sunday from 6:00pm-10:30pm.
The Zodiac Room at Neiman Marcus: The department store's signature restaurant will start meals with "a small demitasse of chicken broth followed by popovers delivered from the 'popover cart' with strawberry butter." The menu will also have "composed salads, fresh seafood, including a selection of oysters and caviars, plant-based, and gluten free options," plus an extensive beverage menu. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 7th floor; open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Rendering of Estiatorio Milos' terrace (Related Cos.)
Hudson Yards Grill: The 11,400-square foot restaurant will have Chef Michael Lomonaco bringing the neighborhood what he calls "a no-tablecloths, family restaurant." Think burgers, sushi, rotisserie chicken, and pasta. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 4th floor; open, at this point, Sunday-Monday, 5:00 p.m.-11:00 p.m.
Belcampo: This meat-forward restaurant is the first culinary outpost outside of California for the organic butcher. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 4th floor; open for lunch from 11:00am-5:00pm Monday-Sunday, and open for dinner from 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 6:00pm-11:00pm Friday-Sunday.
Bar Stanley at Neiman Marcus: Wine, beer, and specialty cocktails will be available alongside light bites, soups, sandwiches and more (like Tortilla Soup, Pot Roast, and warm monkey bread). Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 6th floor; open Monday-Saturday, 1:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Markets at the Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards
Citarella Market and Wine & Spirits: A location of the family-run, upscale market known of its excellent seafood and produce is opening, and they'll have a neighboring store selling wine and spirits. The market will also have prepared foods to go, in case anyone wants to eat in the plaza. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 2nd floor; open Monday through Saturday, 7:00 am -10:00 pm and Sunday 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Cafés and more at Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards
Blue Bottle: The popular Oakland based roasters expand their NYC footprint with a spot in a prime second floor spot—right across from an escalator. Blue Bottle; 20 Hudson Yards, 2nd floor; open Monday-Sunday, 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
The Drug Store: While its name suggests otherwise, this wholesome offshoot of the Nolita non-alcoholic bar promises drinks with "all-natural ingredients and functional properties." Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 2nd Floor; Open every day from 12:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Van Leeuwen: The artisanal ice cream brand, which started from a Brooklyn-based truck, will offer its full menu of classic and vegan flavors. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 3rd floor; open Sunday-Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 a.m.
Fuku: Fried chicken sandwiches shine at this fast-casual spot by Momofuku star David Chang. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 2nd Floor; Open for lunch from 11:00am-5:00pm and 6:00pm-10:00pm for dinner Monday-Sunday.
Cooks and Merchants at Neiman Marcus: A casual cafe option, with prepared food and pastries from City Bakery and Irving Farm coffee, rounds out the offerings at the department store. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 5th floor; Monday-Sunday 11:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
An escalator at the Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards (Jen Chung / Gothamist)
Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee: New Yorkers can get buzzed at this caffeinated outpost, which serves up vegan baked goods in addition to fair-trade, organic coffee. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 4th Floor; Open from 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, then 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. on Saturday and 11:00am-7:00 p.m. Sunday.
William Greenberg Desserts: This veteran local favorite is touted for its delectable kosher offerings, particularly its take on top-notch black and white cookies. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 3rd Floor; Open 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Bouchon Bakery: Thomas Keller's boulangerie offers macarons and other pastries as well as soups, salads, and sandwiches in addition to coffee drinks. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 5th Floor; open Monday-Sunday, 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
Shake Shack: The burger and shake chain's world takeover becomes more imminent with this Hudson Yards outpost. At this location, they'll be hawking a concrete made with vanilla custard and pie from local bakery Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 4th Floor; Open 10:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Sundays from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
Dylan's Candy Bar: Those bearing a sweet tooth can find a dizzying array of self-serve candies and confections, as well as merch, at this well-known chain. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 4th Floor; Open 10:00am-9:00pm Monday-Saturday, and 11:00am-7:00pm Sunday.
Li-Lac Chocolates: Manhattan’s longtime gourmet chocolatier brings old-school charm, techniques, and treats to the shiny retail space.Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 4th Floor; open Monday-Sunday from 10:00am-10:00pm.
Bluestone Lane: Australian-inspired coffee and healthy eats reign at this chain. Website; 20 Hudson Yards, 3rd Floor. Open every day from 10:30am-10:00pm.
In other parts of Hudson Yards
Mercado: Chef José Andres is bringing what his team calls "an all-day destination for the very best of Spanish food, drinks, and culture"—and it's being created with Spain's Ferran and Albert Adrià of elBulli. The 35,000 square foot space will include three restaurants, a market, kiosks, a bar, and more (basically about 15 venues/mini-venues in total). The first four to open are cocktail bar Bar Celona; Bravas, a fried potatoes kiosk; a churros kiosk, and store Colmado. Restaurants Leña (focus on grilled foods and paellas), Mar (seafood), and Spanish Diner ("an Iberian take" on an American diner) will follow later. Website; 10 Hudson Yards; opening at 4 p.m. on March 15, hours vary for the different venues.
Maison Kayser: The beloved French patisserie and cafe will be opening at 55 Hudson Yards.
sweetgreen: The seasonal salad chain has a location right at 30th Street and 10th Avenue. Website; 10 Hudson Yards, ground floor; open Monday- Friday, 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m and Saturday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cedric's at The Shed: Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group will be helming the bar and restaurant at the arts center, which is named after architect Cedric Price whose work inspired the design of the Shed. Opening April 5th.
Stephen Starr at Equinox Hotel: Chef Stephen Starr, known for le, will has a restaurant at the Equinox Hotel, which will open in June 2019. 35 Hudson Yards
Restaurant at 101st floor of 30 Hudson Yards: The best views of any restaurant at Hudson Yards will be whatever British-based restaurant group Rhubarb opens at the observation deck. The observation deck, dubbed "edge," will open in 2020.
The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, located in 20 Hudson Yards, is anchored by a three-story, 188,000 square-foot Neiman Marcus, its first in New York City. Other stores include the super high-end—Cartier, Dior, Fendi, Rolex—to more affordable chains, like H&M, Zara, Banana Republic, and Muji. Website.
10 Hudson Yards: Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects, the $1.8 million building at the corner of 30th Street and 10th Avenue opened in 2016 and is occupied by commercial tenants—Tapestry, which own Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman; L'Oreal; SAP; Boston Consulting; Sidewalk Labs; and others—and retail ones, like sweetgreen.
30 Hudson Yards: Another Kohn Pederson Fox Architects buildings, 30 Hudson Yards, at the corner of 33rd Street and 10th Avenue, is still under construction, with completion for later this year. The 2.6 million square feet is dedicated to commercial tenants, like WarnerMedia (which is consolidating all its employees across divisions like CNN, HBO, and Warner Bros. in one space) and Hudson Yards developer Related Cos., and the edge observation deck.
From left, 10 Hudson Yards, 30 Hudson Yards, 50 Hudson Yards, and 55 Hudson Yards (Courtesy of Related Cos.)
50 Hudson Yards: Slated for completion in 2022, this 2.9 million square foot building already has one tenant on the books: BlackRock, the investment management firm, will take over 15 floors, totaling 850,000 square feet. The building, designed by Foster + Partners (headed by Lord Noman Foster; they designed Hearst Tower), is at the corner of 33rd Street and 10th Avenue, and will occupy an entire city block.
55 Hudson Yards: Kohn Pederson Fox also designed this building, at the corner of 11th Avenue and 33rd Street. At 1.3 million square feet, its tenants include Third Point, SilverLake, Point 72 Asset Management, and Mount Sinai Doctors, and has the added bonus of being right across from the 7 train station.
All the buildings on the Western Rail Yard, on the right of the map, are opening on March 15 or later this year; the Eastern Rail Yard development, on the left, is just starting (Hudson Yards)
Hudson Yards is expected to have a total of approximately 4,000 residences across 4 million square feet. However, only two residential buildings are opening now.
15 Hudson Yards: On the northeast corner of 30th Street and 11th Avenue is a 910-foot-tall building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and the Rockwell Group, that's just under a million square feet. It has a total of 391 units, comprised of 285 are one-to-four-bedroom condos and 107 affordable rentals, with like a 75-foot swimming pool, screening room, a 3,500-square-foot fitness center, a rooftop lounge and a private co-working space. Prices range from $3.9 million for a two-bedroom to $32 million for a duplex penthouse, while affordable housing units, designated for those making 50-60% of the area median income (or $31,303 and $62,580 per year depending on household size), are going for $858/month for a studio to $1,350/month for a two-bedroom.
15 Hudson Yards, under construction in January 2019 (Timothy Schenk for Related Cos.)
35 Hudson Yards: A taller, more luxe counterpart on 33rd Street, this 900-foot building opening in the fall is a condo-hotel-office hybrid with a concierge and hotel-like amenities, like a gym with yoga studio and meditation room, a lounge, and a golf-simulator game. The 143 units are starting at $5 million, and Hudson Yards developer Stephen Ross is moving into one of the penthouses. The middle of the building will be occupied by a 222-room hotel operated by Equinox Fitness, which is owned by Related and is slated to open in June. (Yes, there will be an Equinox Gym too.)
(Note: Despite its name, One Hudson Yards, at 530 West 30th Street, does not lie within the official Hudson Yards boundaries. But the building was one of two developed by Related, along with Abington House, which were important precursors to Hudson Yards, helping to jumpstart the public's imagination of life on the Far West Side.)
Reporting by Jen Chung, Elizabeth Kim, and Paula Mejía