Remember the days when New York City was trying to drum up enthusiasm for bringing the 2012 Olympics here, and Mayor Bloomberg tried to get the West Side Stadium passed to sweeten NYC's bid (the bid had athletes walking down Broadway before entering the stadium!)? And then NYC was eliminated quickly from the the bid and it was kind of embarrassing? Well, now Mayor Bloomberg, a bunch of real estate developers and even an NYU urban policy professor say that city is better off without the Olympics, because the failed plan still jumpstarted lots of development on the Far West Side. So lose-win!
For instance, the Hudson Yards mega-project is actually happening (though not as originally planned). The NY Times reports, "The Bloomberg administration repurposed many elements of the bid to create Hudson Yards, the commercial and residential district taking shape west of Eighth Avenue, a once-desolate area of factories, lofts and parking lots between 30th and 43rd Streets. Fifteen sleek residential towers have sprung up since 2005, the year that the Olympic bid was rejected, and a dozen hotels have muscled their way onto these blocks... [C]ity officials predict that within two decades, Hudson Yards could have more office space than Baltimore or Portland, Ore., and as many apartments as Stamford, Conn."
Also, "Some planners pointed out that if the Games had been held in New York, the city most likely would have had to cover billions of dollars in cost overruns. It also would have been stuck with many underused sports facilities, including the stadium," and the 7 subway line extension is happening, too! Of course, it's not clear if the city (or MTA) has the infrastructure to deal with that kind of increase in worker, residential, or subway traffic, but, hey, by the time the city deals with it, Bloomberg's third term will have ended, though who knows if he sticks around for a fourth.