Massive real estate development to alter New York skyline

Hudson Yards will see new skyscrapers and cover 28 acres of midtown Manhattan

The skyline of New York is being transformed by the biggest real estate development ever in the US.

The project, called Hudson Yards, will see new skyscrapers tip the clouds and cover an area of 28 acres of midtown Manhattan between 10th and 12th Avenues and from 30th-33rd Streets. The site is bounded to the west by an elevated parkway, the Highline.

The $20 billion development by privately owned US Related Companies and Toronto-headquartered Oxford Properties will include more than 17 million sq ft of commercial and residential space.

Ambitious scheme

It will include 100-plus shops, a collection of restaurants and food outlets, 4,000 residences, a 750-pupil public school, a 200-room hotel, a cultural space called the Shed and 14 acres of public parks. The extension of the No 7 Subway line will also serve Hudson Yards.


The yards refer to the rail yards of the Metropolitan Transport Authority, Amtrak, New Jersey Transit and the Long Island Rail Road where the development is happening. The massive construction project is being built on two platforms over the existing 30 active tracks where the trains are stored.

There are 23,000 working on the construction phase, and when completed in 2024, 125,000 people will work in, visit and call Hudson Yards home.

Manhattan stands on bedrock and 300 caissons are being drilled 20-80ft into the rock to form the platforms for the development. The trains will be cooled by massive fans similar to aircraft engines. The platforms are engineered to support large scale planting and act as a reservoir for storm-water management.

The first phase of the project, 10 Hudson, a 52-storey block, opened on July 1st, and the initial tenants are Coach and L'Oreal. Space has also been rented by SAP, The Boston Consulting Group and Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet.

The tallest block will be 30 Hudson Yards at the southwest corner of 33rd Street and 10th Avenue. The 1,296ft tall building will be 90 storeys, and the second tallest in the city with 2.6 million sq ft. Designed by Bill Pedersen of Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, it will have the highest outdoor observation desk in Manhattan. The One World Observatory stands at 102 storeys high.

Early movers

Time Warner has already acquired 1.5 million sq ft of office space and plans to move 5,000 employees from its corporate operations as well as CNN, Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros entities under one roof for the first time. KKR, a global investment firm, has acquired the top 10 office floors of 343,000sq ft, and Wells Fargo has taken 500,000sq ft. Both firms are relocating their corporate offices to the tower.

The first residential building to open will be 15 Hudson Yards at 30th Street and 11th Avenue. The 910ft tall block will offer 391 units for sale and for rent. It will be adjacent to the Highline and have access to the Shed. The Shed cultural space will be a multi-purpose venue and is expected to be ready for New York Fashion week in 2019. The Shed’s mission is to commission and present new work by artists across all disciplines for the widest range of audiences. It will present a broad range of performance, visual art, music, and multi-disciplinary work.

Residents will have unobstructed views of the city and the Hudson River. There will also be a fitness centre by Equinox, concierge lobby, garage, valet parking and pet-friendly services. The building is expected to be completed in 2018.

The other two towers will be 35 Hudson Yards, a mixture of residential, Equinox Hotel, Equinox Fitness, offices and retail, and 55 Hudson Yards, at 780ft block which will have 1.3 million sq ft of offices. It was designed by A. Eugene Kohn of KPF Associates and Irish-born Kevin Roche, a Pritzer Prize winning architect, and will have a dramatic outdoor terrace on the 10th floor.

A one million square foot seven-storey mall will house the shops and restaurants at Hudson Yards. There will be the first Nieman Marcus luxury department store in New York City and more than 100 retail units.

Six acres of gardens and public plazas in the Eastern Yard will have a major piece of public art designed by English sculptor Thomas Heatherwick and costing more than €150 million to develop. The design is being kept secret for the moment but is expected that it will be to Manhattan what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris.