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The "New" West Side

Welcome to New York City’s “new” West Side. The biggest real estate development in U.S. history. An entire city within a city. A city built not on land, but on elevated platforms covering one of the world’s busiest railroad yards. Welcome to Hudson Yards.

The Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project, a joint venture by the New York City Department of City Planning and Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is in the midst of development thanks to backing from real estate powerhouses Related Companies and Oxford Properties. The new neighborhood is bordered on the east by Seventh and Eighth Avenues, on the south by West 28th and 30th Streets, on the north by West 43rd Street, and on the west by Hudson River Park and the Hudson River. The new platform is bordered by 10th and 12th Avenues, and by 30th and 33rd Streets.

For nearly 70 years, the Hudson rail yards languished. Grand and exciting plans discussed for the site included building the world’s tallest skyscraper, constructing new stadiums for both the New York Jets and New York Yankees and even a giant sports complex to host the 2012 Olympics. All of these ideas failed. But the Hudson Yards plan stuck, and the momentum behind it is palpable.

Critics worried that development revenues would fall short. According to a recent New York Times article, New York City officials say that development on the west side is generating so much money in fees and taxes that for the first time in a decade, the city will not have to take money out of its budget to make payments on the $3 billion in bonds used to build parks and a subway line in the district.

Hudson Yards broke ground in late 2012, with an expected completion date of 2018.  It will consist of 16 skyscrapers containing more than 12,700,000 square feet of new office, residential, and retail space; six million square feet of commercial office space; a 750,000-square-foot retail center with two levels of restaurants, cafes, markets and bars; a hotel; cultural space; roughly 5,000 residences; a 750-seat school; and 14 acres of public open space. Clearly a massive undertaking, one in which many view as a symbol of the real estate revival in New York City. 

With a proposed price tag of $20 billion, it goes without saying that Hudson Yards will forever change Manhattan. It’s a massive undertaking, indeed. I predict more New Yorkers and investors alike will start heading west and stay there. What do you think?

Photo courtesy of: The New York City Mayor’s Office

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