May 28, 2015
By Michael Benison, CPA
I recently attended an event hosted by the Mortgage Bankers Association of New York, Inc. on April 23 about the Hudson Yards project. A joint venture of Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, the Hudson Yards project is getting into full swing. In 2008, Related Companies won the bid to build “a new neighborhood for New York.” In 2013, Fortune Magazine named Hudson Yards “America’s Biggest Real Estate Project Ever.” The venture is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States since the building of Rockefeller Center, and will include more than 17 million sq. ft. of commercial and residential space, featuring 14 buildings sitting on more than 28 acres.
Mixed use space is necessary and relevant for today’s ever changing community and landscape. There are core components of the project: The developers want to create a buzzing new neighborhood atmosphere. Work-life balance integration is also an important consideration. There will be mixed-use space, which will consist of office and hotel space with residential units on the higher floors. The final component is a fuel for innovation. The neighborhood should encompass a platform for innovation. With the growing use of technology, innovation and creativity can be created virtually anywhere such as in bars, clubs, gyms, parks, and restaurants. The quality of public space is important for people’s memories. All the amenities of the buildings will attract people to the space. For example, 30 Hudson Yards will be the 4th tallest building in New York once completed. It will have an observation deck at 1,100 ft., allowing for a unique open air panoramic view of the city.
The project is being built on elevated concrete platforms above the Eastern Rail Yards over Penn Station. The platform construction is expected to be completed by fall 2015 and will incorporate more than 100,000 tons of steel. (As an aside, now is the perfect time to check out the rail yards before they are fully covered up.) The platforms will house a basement and be used to support the building structures. 10 Hudson Yards will be one of the most energy efficient office buildings in Manhattan: The building will have on-site energy generation from its own cogeneration plant, allowing for energy interdependence, and use both public and private energy resources. The building will also feature state-of-the-art waste disposal technology. Waste will travel though underground vacuum tubes to a central terminal.
One third of the High Line (a public park that attracts roughly 5 million visitors each year) is located on the Hudson Yards. There will be integration between the platform structures and the High Line. This will help connect visitors into Chelsea, which has one of the largest concentrations of art galleries in the world with over 350 galleries. Designer Thomas Heatherwick will help shape The Public Square, which will feature artistic collaboration. The Culture Shed will be created to host a wide variety of cultural and artistic events which will include concerts, exhibits, and performances, including NY’s Fashion Week. This structure will include a 200,000 sq. ft. building, with a 16,000 sq. ft. shed that is expandable. The Culture Shed will be connected to the 15 Hudson Yards residential tower.