After years and years of talk the enormous 26-acre, $15 billion, 15 building Hudson Yards project on the far west side—once meant to be the centerpiece for a new Jets stadium—broke ground today. Forget about the Atlantic Yards for a minute, because this mini-city is going to be big—and local politicians could not be more proud of themselves.
"The Hudson Yards project is a win-win: it’ll create new office and residential space and give the community a new school and open space," Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer tweeted from the ground breaking. "Hudson Yards is happening! $15bil construction project in midst of weakened national economy - speaks volumes abt #NYC attractiveness," City Council Speaker Christine Quinn added. Even MTA CEO and the Post's favorite non-Mayoral candidate was happy today, reportedly trying to take some of the credit for the project (the site should make the MTA a cool billion).
And Mayor Bloomberg? Oh he could not have been happier that this project, which has been on the table for much of his time in office, is finally moving. He calls it "the future of New York." According to hizzoner the "site’s 26 acres will make it Manhattan’s largest undeveloped property now becoming a developed property. In fact, it is one of the largest private developments ever under taken in the country." No pressure, developer Related Companies!
So what to expect of this mini-city soon to rise between 10th and 12th Avenues and West 30th and 33th Streets? Well, the first phase alone is expected to include four mixed-use buildings with commercial, retail and residential space, as well as a cultural center and a luxury hotel. Coming on its heels will be a refurbished riverfront park, a 5-acre plaza "with a sculpture as large as Lady Liberty," a new public school and more. Along the way the city hopes it will bring 23,000 construction jobs to the area—which is nothing to scoff at. And let's not forget about the new 7 train station!
The first major tenant for the space will be the fashion company Coach, which has already purchased 750,000 of the 1.2 million square feet of the first office tower for an international headquarters. According to developer Related, more than 80% of that building already committed. Further the company says it "is close to signing several tenants to a another structure that will be higher than the Empire State Building."
Meanwhile, our favorite fact about the Hudson Yards project? It will, when done, have more office space than exists in all of Portland, Oregon. And maybe by the time it's finished there will actually be a demand for office space in Manhattan! Because right now, there are plenty of empty offices to go around.