The Hudson Yards development in Manhattan is a tale of two halves. On the one hand, the $25 billion multi-use development is one of the most ambitious and expensive developments the city has ever seen. On the other hand, it is also one of the most criticized. The man behind this development is 78-year-old billionaire Stephen Ross, a real estate titan. His mega real estate firm is called Related Companies and this is currently based in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle. For now, Ross is living in the same building as his office base in the 80th-floor penthouse.
However, this is all set to change as there are plans for the company to move to Ross’ new development where they will occupy five floors of 30 Hudson Yards. After One World Trade Center, this is now the tallest building in New York. Ross is also planning to make a personal move as he is moving just down the road to the penthouse on the 92nd floor of 35 Hudson Yards. His tower where his new home is located has a tubular limestone design, and it was designed by architect David Childs of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill. He is well known for also designing the Time Warner building.
Ross’ company are now preparing for the launch of the commercial aspect of the Hudson Yards development, which includes restaurants, shops, and gardens. The 18-million-square-foot project also includes seven residential buildings that are currently under construction. Despite the many features of this development, it has come under scrutiny and received plenty of criticism. The project has received $4 billion in investments and approximately $1.4 billion in tax breaks. One of the main criticisms has been its description as a neighborhood that is only for the rich. This is something that Ross denies and has said that it is not a separate enclave. However, the critics have a point as the prices of the condos within the development range from around $4 million to over $32 million.
Ross has argued that it is about more than the cost of the condos as the neighborhood has many affordable aspects that are available both to those who live in the development and to those who are just passing through. This means it is good for everyone. The real estate titan went on to explain that the eateries and shops included both affordable options and high-end establishments, so there is something for everyone. Just some of the affordable outlets at Hudson Yards include Zara, H&M, and a Shake Shack burger joint. Some of the luxury retailers at the development include the city’s only Neiman Marcus, a Dior, and a Fendi boutique, while one of the upscale restaurants at the development is TAK Room. In total, there are 28 cafes and restaurants within the development.
Many have questioned Ross’ decision to build a development with properties that are only affordable to high earners. In response, he has said that he believes that people who have proven themselves in life have the capacity to attract more capital. Despite defending his development, he prefers discussions around his excitement about the project. He has described the development as a city within a city rather than just a new neighborhood. Ross has also talked about how Hudson Yards creates an environment that is suitable for living, working, and playing. Therefore, in his opinion, it is an amazing location that can meet a wide range of needs.
There are pros and cons to the location of this new development. On the downside, it is situated on an old Long Island Rail Road. Before construction could even begin in 2014, it cost $1 billion to create a platform over the existing land. Some people feel that the location is a little far out of the city.
On the plus side, there are fantastic transport links in place for those who choose to live in Hudson Yards to easily access other areas of Manhattan and beyond. Most notable is the subway links as the number seven subway line has been extended using government funds totaling $2.4 billion. There is a new station between 5o Hudson Yards, which is still under construction, and 55 Hudson Yards. People who prefer to walk can use the High Line park as this is directly next to the development.