Hudson Yards: NYC's Urban Town Within A City
Then came various plans for Hudson Yards, which still has its virulent opponents.
Kathleen Treat, of the Hell's Kitchen Neighborhood Association named after an old adjacent area, calls Hudson Yards "Hong Kong on the Hudson," referring to the densely populated Asian city with people living in tightly clustered high-rises.
The plan that eventually took hold calls for completion about a dozen years from now, though even that is hardly guaranteed.
"The question is, are there tenants to anchor the project?" asks Sagalyn.
"The demand has to be strong, while the market can change and things happen you can't anticipate," she says.
Other questions loom. The subway extension is at least two years away. The city issued $3 billion in bonds to pay for it, and work has yet to begin on an $800,000 platform covering the rail tracks.
"To build these very large structures on top of the tracks is a huge challenge," says architect Bill Pedersen, co-founder of the architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, which designed Hudson Yards' master plan. "It's like dental work, threading through down below."
At 12 million square feet, Hudson Yards is billed as New York's most ambitious private construction since the 1930s, with thousands of apartment units including affordable housing.
The project is getting help from the public. The city approved $106 million in property tax exemptions for the first office tower and retail areas. And developers are leasing air rights to the property from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for 99 years, with purchase options â for $1 billion to be used for the state agency's other capital projects.
Hudson Yards' first building, set to open in 2015, is a $1.3 billion, 46-floor tower, nearly half of it to be occupied by the Coach leather goods manufacturer. Ross hopes to announce other tenants by year's end for the joint venture between Related Cos. â he's chairman and CEO â and the Oxford Properties Group.
The glass atrium of the first tower stands alongside the High Line, according to renderings obtained by The Associated Press.
Another tower is to be up by 2017 along with nine residential buildings, a retail complex including offerings from famed restaurateur Danny Meyer and a five-star hotel.
The main developer, Stephen Ross, told the AP that the architect for another high-rise along a central, tree-lined park is David Childs, who designed New York's tallest building, One World Trade Center, to be occupied by 2014.