Hudson Yards (development)
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Hudson Yards Development

Hudson Yards Real Estate Development
Hudson Yards (22066).jpg
Hudson Yards construction progress as of June 2018; seen here is Vessel (center) between 30 Hudson Yards (left) and 10 Hudson Yards (right)
LocationAbove West Side Yard, Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates40°45?17?N 74°00?14?W / 40.754661°N 74.003783°W / 40.754661; -74.003783Coordinates: 40°45?17?N 74°00?14?W / 40.754661°N 74.003783°W / 40.754661; -74.003783
StatusUnder construction
GroundbreakingDecember 4, 2012[1]
Estimated completion2024
ArchitectKohn Pedersen Fox
DeveloperThe Related Companies L.P.
Oxford Properties Group Inc.
Technical details
CostUS$20 billion
Buildings10, 15, 30, 35, 50, 55 Hudson Yards, and The Shed
Size26 to 28 acres (11 to 11 ha)

Hudson Yards is a real estate development under construction in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It is the largest private real estate development in the United States by square footage. Upon completion, 13 of the 16 planned structures will sit on a platform built over the West Side Yard, a storage yard for Long Island Rail Road trains. The first of its two phases comprises a public green space and eight structures that contain residences, a hotel, office buildings, a mall, and a cultural facility. The second focuses on residential space, along with an office building and a school.

Hudson Yards from the 102 floor of the Empire State Building, (1224 feet), November 2018

Related Companies is the primary developer, and Oxford Properties is a major equity partner. Mitsui Fudosan owns a 92.09 percent stake in 55 Hudson Yards, and a 90 percent stake in 50 Hudson Yards. The architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox designed the master plan for the site, and architects including Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, Thomas Heatherwick, Roche-Dinkeloo, and Diller Scofidio + Renfro contributed designs for individual structures. Major office tenants include or will include fashion company Tapestry, consulting firm BCG, and Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs.

Construction began in 2012 with the groundbreaking for 10 Hudson Yards and estimates suggest both phases should end by 2024. Agreements between various entities including the local government, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and the state of New York made the development possible. The special zoning for Hudson Yards (an area roughly bound by 30th Street in the south, 41st Street in the north, 11th Avenue in the west, and Eighth Avenue in the east) further incentivized the building of other large-scale projects. Hudson Yards is adjacent but unrelated to Manhattan West, 3 Hudson Boulevard, and The Spiral.


Map of buildings and structures at Hudson Yards

Older site proposals

Several developers and other entities proposed uses for the rail yard during the 20th century. William Zeckendorf suggested the construction of the "Freedom Tower", which would have risen 1,750 feet,[2] making it the tallest building in the world at the time.[3] Transportation to the new complex would have been via a "passenger conveyor belt" from further east in Midtown. Zeckendorf never purchased the rights, as he was unable to secure financing for the deal, given that large-scale speculative real estate projects were not an asset class that institutional investors and lenders took interest in at the time.[4] The administration of mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr.[5] released a development plan in 1963 which was supported by later mayor John Lindsay but the plan was never realized. Later, in the 1980s, both the Jets and the Yankees proposed new stadiums above the rails, though neither project succeeded.

In the early 2000s, plans for the rail yard long included a new Olympics stadium,[6] to become the home of the Jets after the games ended.[7] Proposers dubbed the structure the "New York Sports and Convention Center". In addition to the stadium, rezoning the adjacent area would have incentivized the construction of some 13,000 new residential units and 28 million square feet of office space.[8][9] This effort, led by Daniel Doctoroff, was unpopular with the public and politicians.[10]

In January 2005, the New York City Council approved the 60-block rezoning, including the eastern portion of the West Side Yard.[11]Michael Bloomberg, then the city's mayor, subsequently separated the city's broader rezoning plans from the rail yard stadium.[12][13] In conjunction with the city, the MTA issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a 12,700,000-square-foot (1,180,000 m2) mixed-use development to be built on platforms over the rail yard, which would remain in use throughout.[14]

The MTA received three bids to cap and lease the rail yard. Cablevision (the owner of the nearby Madison Square Garden), the Jets organization, and TransGas Energy all submitted proposals.[15] The Jets won the development rights, but several lawsuits filed after the bidding process alleged they won without paying a fair price.[16] In June 2005, Sheldon Silver voted against the stadium, definitively eliminating the possibility of support at the state level and the possibility of the stadium's construction.[17] Although Bloomberg and others expressed doubts about interest in the area from real estate companies after the stadium fell through, development nevertheless continued.[18] The former mayor later expressed that the loss of the stadium may have been a "blessing" for New York.[19]

The MTA received proceeds from the development's 2006 bond offering to pay for an extension of the New York City Subway's and ​ trains to 34th Street-Hudson Yards station.[20] With funding assured, the MTA proceeded quickly to construct the extension.[21] The first construction contracts were awarded in October 2007,[22][23] and the subway extension opened on September 13, 2015.[24][25]

Bidding process

In late 2006, the city and the MTA backed out of a plan for the city to purchase the development site, and created a proposal to seek bids from private developers.[26] This was followed by the a formal request for proposals in 2008 with the intention of creating a large-scale mixed-use development above the rail yards. Five developers responded to the RFP: Extell, Tishman Speyer,[27]Brookfield, Vornado, and the Related Companies.[28] Tishman Speyer, a New York-based real estate conglomerate, won the bid in March 2008.[29] Tishman Speyer won a $1 billion bid to lease and cap the West Side Yard, with payment due as annual rent over a 99-year period.[30] It would also spend another $2 billion for development over the rail yards, including for the two platforms over the yards to support 15 acres (6.1 ha) of public spaces, four office buildings, and ten high-rise residential towers.[29] Tishman had secured the investment bank Morgan Stanley as both an anchor tenant and financial backer.[31]

However, just two months later, the deal broke down due to the late-2000s financial crisis.[32] Subsequently, the MTA chose the Related Companies and Goldman Sachs to develop Hudson Yards under the same conditions.[33] In December 2009, the New York City Council approved Related Companies' revised plan for Hudson Yards, and the western portion of the West Side Yard was rezoned.[34] Following the rail yards' successful rezoning, the MTA signed another 99-year lease to the air rights over the rail yard in May 2010. The air rights were signed over to a joint venture of Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, which invested $400 million to build a platform above both the eastern and western portions of the yard on which to construct the buildings.[34][35]

In April 2013, the Related/Oxford joint venture obtained a $475 million construction loan from parties including Barry Sternlicht's Starwood Capital Group and luxury retailer Coach. The financing deal was unique in several aspects, including the fact that it included a construction mezzanine loan, that Coach was a lender on both the debt and equity sides,[36] and that the MTA reused a "severable lease" structure (previously used by Battery Park City) that allowed for the loans. A portion of the project was also financed by the EB-5 investment program, which uses capital from immigrants who become eligible for a green card.[37]

Planning and construction

Hudson Yards under construction in 2015

The groundbreaking for 10 Hudson Yards, which was not built on the platform, occurred on December 4, 2012. The start of construction was also announced for 30 Hudson Yards.[38][39] At the time, no tenants had been secured for any building in the complex, but three tenants--L'Oreal, Coach, and SAP--were announced in 2013.[40] Construction on the platform began in 2014.[41] Groundbreaking occurred for 15 Hudson Yards in December 2014,[42] and work on 35 Hudson Yards and 55 Hudson Yards both started in January 2015.[43][44]

10 Hudson Yards was the first building in the complex to open, on May 31, 2016.[45] 55 Hudson Yards topped out in August 2017.[46] 15, 30, and 35 Hudson Yards all topped out in 2018. All four structures are expected to be completed in early 2019.[47][48] Work on 50 Hudson Yards, the final building in the first phase, began in May 2018.[49]

Labor disputes

Beginning in late 2017, unions working at the site alleged Related "continue[d] to look for deeper and deeper concessions" in their negotiations.[50] Higher costs for materials and land after the 2008 recession have caused real estate companies to seek lower labor costs. In New York City non-union labor has made inroads, although workers tend to have less training and experience. Douglas Durst, a real estate magnate in New York, has said "Related is leading the charge" among New York-based companies in employing non-union labor.[50] Related's push to change the site to an open shop would mostly affect the second phase of construction, on the western yard.[51]

Rail yard platform

30th Street staging area for construction equipment and materials.

The new platform upon which the Hudson Yards development will be built is bordered by 10th and 12th Avenues and by 30th and 33rd Streets.[52][53] In 2014, it was expected to cost more than US$20 billion[54] and may eventually see 65,000 visitors a day.[55] Construction on the platform began in 2014.[56] As of June 2015, construction is overseen by Related Companies' executive vice president, Timur Galen.[57]

The 26.17-acre (10.59 ha) Hudson Yards project[58][59] was to be constructed over the existing at-grade West Side Yard, allowing LIRR trains to continue to be stored during midday hours. The land parcel is bordered by 30th Street and Chelsea on the south, Twelfth Avenue on the west, 33rd Street and Hell's Kitchen on the north, and Tenth Avenue on the east. Eleventh Avenue runs through the site, and splits the redevelopment project into two phases. To minimize construction impact on the LIRR's ability to store trains during midday and peak hours, caissons were drilled into bedrock throughout much of the site, over which the platform was to be built.[60] However, only 38% of the ground level at West Side Yard was to be filled in with columns to support the development.[61] Much of the platform itself will be built by a huge Manitowoc 18000 crane.[62] The eastern platform, supporting the towers, comprises 16 bridges.[63] The platform for the Eastern Rail Yard was completed in October 2015, and the western platform will be completed by 2016.[64]

In 2013, Amtrak announced it would build a "tunnel box" through the project areas to reserve the space for a future rail right-of-way such as the proposed Gateway Project.[65][66][67] Construction began September 2013 and is expected to take two years.[68] The underground concrete casing is 800 ft (240 m) long, 50 ft (15 m) wide, and approximately 35 ft (11 m) tall.[69]

Phase 1

View of 30 Hudson Yards (left, under construction), and 10 Hudson Yards (right, completed) in February 2017
Further construction, August 2018

Phase 1, the eastern phase, contains two office towers on Tenth Avenue, plus a retail podium between them. It is projected that all of the Phase 1 buildings would receive a LEED Gold designation.[64]


Vessel is a planned permanent art installation designed by Thomas Heatherwick. Heatherwick took inspiration from Indian step wells in the design.[70]Stephen M. Ross has compared the structure to the Eiffel Tower.[71]

10 Hudson Yards

The 52-story, 895-foot (273 m) 10 Hudson Yards is located at Tenth Avenue and 30th Street, along the southeastern corner of Phase 1. It opened in 2016 and is anchored by Coach Inc.[72] Ground was broken for the building on December 4, 2012.[1] It was the first of the Hudson Yards buildings to begin construction, because it was not built over railroad tracks. However, 10 Hudson Yards does straddle the High Line spur to Tenth Avenue.[73] 10 Hudson Yards opened on May 31, 2016,[45] becoming the first Hudson Yards structure to open to tenants.[74] Tenants include L'Oreal, Sidewalk Labs, and Coach. Early on during construction, Coach purchased a stake in the building, which was sold back to Related as construction neared finish.[75] Kohn Pederson Fox designed the building, which is one of the tallest in New York City.

15 Hudson Yards

15 Hudson Yards, originally proposed as Tower D, is located on Tenth Avenue and 30th Street, near Phase 1's southwestern corner. will be connected to a semi-permanent structure, a performance and arts space known as the Hudson Yards Cultural Shed.[76] 15 Hudson Yards started construction in December 2014,[77] and was topped out in February 2018 with scheduled opening in spring 2019. When complete, 15 Hudson Yards will include 285 residential units.[47] Its original design, with a pronounced "corset" at the middle of the tower's height, attracted attention.[78][79]

The Shed

The Shed is a flexible structure focused on providing cultural programming attached to 15 Hudson Yards.[80][81] It is maintained by an organization of the same name.[82] The Shed is scheduled to open in 2019.[83]

30 Hudson Yards

The 80-story, 1,268-foot (386 m) 30 Hudson Yards is located at Tenth Avenue and 33rd Street. It the city's third-tallest building.[84] It is designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox with an observation deck that juts into the air.[85] Construction began after caissons are sunk to support the platform over the tracks, the latter of which will be raised 12 to 27 feet (4 to 8 m) above ground level and be level with the High Line.[58] 30 Hudson Yards is expected to be completed in early 2019.[86]

35 Hudson Yards

35 Hudson Yards is located at Eleventh Avenue and 33rd Street. Construction on 35 Hudson Yards's foundation was started in January 2015,[43] and 35 Hudson Yards topped out in June 2018.[48] The mixed-use 35 Hudson Yards contains 137 condominiums, an Equinox brand hotel, medical offices, and retail space.[48][87]David Childs, the chairman of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, contributed the designs.

50 Hudson Yards

Work on the foundation of 50 Hudson Yards, located at Tenth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets, began in May 2018.[49]BlackRock signed on as an anchor tenant, and is to occupy 850,000 square feet in the building. When finished, will rank as the fourth largest office tower in New York City in terms of available square feet, with 2.9 million available to lease. Foster + Partners designed the building. It is one of two structures in the first phase not located above the rail yard, and was not part of the original Hudson Yards plan.

Mitsui Fudosan owns a 90 percent stake in the building.[88] Bank of China, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo contributed financing for the tower.[88]

55 Hudson Yards

The 780-foot-tall (240 m) 55 Hudson Yards, located at Eleventh Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets, started construction on January 22, 2015,[44] and topped out in August 2017.[46]Mitsui Fudosan owns a 92.09 percent stake in the building. Like 50 Hudson Yards, 55 is not located over the rail yard, and was not included in the original master plan as created by KPF. Cooley, a law firm, signed a lease to occupy 130,000 square feet across five stories.[89] Another law firm, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, will occupy 250,000 square feet.[90]

To lower costs and allow flexibility during the build, construction emphasized the use of concrete over steel.[91] Two architectural firms, Kohn Pederson Fox and Roche Dinkeloo, were involved in the design of the building, which is the first collaborative effort between the two firms.[92]

Shopping center

Phase 1 also includes a seven-story mall with 100 shops and 20 restaurants, called Shops & Restaurants of Hudson Yards.[58] It will have 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of space, including 750,000 square feet (70,000 m2) in retail, possibly including department stores and a movie theater. The retail space, designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects[93] with a connection to the bases of 10 and 30 Hudson Yards, started construction in June 2015,[43][94] with a 100,000 short tons (91,000,000 kg) order of steel, one of the largest such orders in the history of the United States.[95]

In September 2014, Neiman Marcus was signed to become the anchor tenant of the Hudson Yards Retail Space, which will open in 2018. The Neiman Marcus store will occupy the top 3 levels and ​ of the mall, or 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2).[96][97]Fairway, a locally based grocer, is expected to build a store in the lower floors of the building, occupying 45,875 square feet (4,262 m2).[98][99] Chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller will open a restaurant in the complex, in addition to selecting 11 other restaurants in the retail space; all 12 restaurants are expected to open in 2018.[43][100] The mall may be anchored by Dior and Chanel on the topmost floors, with "a 'Fifth Avenue' mix of shops", such as H&M, Zara, and Sephora below them.[43]

Public plaza

There will be a 6-acre (2 ha) public square, with 28,000 plants and 225 trees,[101] on the platform.[58] In the middle of the square would be a 16-story structure of connected staircases between the buildings; the structure, titled Vessel, is designed by Thomas Heatherwick and will cost US$150 million.[102][103] The public square will be a ventilation area for the West Side Yards, as well as a storm water runoff site. Storm water that runs off into the square will be reused.[64] Since it is going to be on top of an active rail yard, the public square would be located over a 6-foot (1.8 m) deep plenum above a huge cooling slab with 15 fans blowing 45 miles per hour (72 km/h) air and a 60,000-US-gallon (230,000 l; 50,000 imp gal) rainwater storage tank. The whole platform would then be supported by 234 caissons. The plantings themselves would be rooted with "smart soil".[43][101]Th

Phase 2

When the West Side Yard was built in the mid-1980s, space was left between the tracks to allow for columns supporting an overbuild. The area pictured will be where Phase 2 of the project will be built.

The western portion of the yard is bordered by 30th Street and 33rd Street in the north and south, and Eleventh and Twelfth avenues in the east and west. The western phase of the project is to contain up to seven residential towers, an office building at 33rd Street and Eleventh Avenue tentatively known as "West Tower", and a school serving Pre-K to eighth grade students.[64] The third phase of the High Line will traverse Phase 2 of the project.[76] Work on the platform to cover the second half of the tracks is scheduled to begin in 2018.[104] The entire project, including Phase 2, could be complete by 2024.[105]

According to Architectural Digest magazine, Santiago Calatrava, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Thomas Heatherwick, and Frank Gehry are supposedly involved in the design of the second phase's residential towers.[106][107] Related has previously commissioned works from Stern[108] and Heatherwick.[109][110]

Neighboring projects

The Hudson Yards development is directly west of the second largest project in the area, Manhattan West, also built above previously exposed rail yards, and comprising 7 acres.[111] Manhattan West is also a multi-building, mixed-use complex providing residences, a hotel, and offices.[112]

Two large-scale, single-building office developments border the eastern portion of Hudson Yards. The larger, known as The Spiral, is owned by Tishman Speyer and features a design by Bjarke Ingels Group.[113] The smaller development is known as 3 Hudson Boulevard, and although it lacks an anchor tenant, it is under construction.[114]

Several existing or planned residential buildings abut Phase 1. Two are owned by Related, One Hudson Yards and Abington House, and are unrelated to the Hudson Yards project.[115]601 West 29th Street and 606 West 30th Street are under construction south of the two Related developments, and despite the involvement of two separate real estate companies, are being developed together due to their proximity. Another Related development also on the West Side dubbed "Hudson Residences" is under construction at the same time as Hudson Yards.[116] The company co-owns a site with Spitzer Enterprises with plans to develop both residential and office space.[117]

Financing and ownership

Related is unique among developers in that it retains ownership of the rental buildings it constructs and has a robust portfolio of affordable rental properties that provide consistent income.[118] Initial funding came exclusively from Related and partner Goldman Sachs. After Goldman exited this arrangement, Related and its new partner, Oxford, secured a number of capital sources.[119][120] These include conventional lenders, such as Wells Fargo, foreign investors through the EB-5 program, and a debt raise on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.[119] $600 million of the project's financing has come from EB-5, making it the project to receive the most funding from the program. Other lenders include The Children's Investment Fund Foundation, Deutsche Bank, and Allianz. As of September 2017, Related had raised approximately $18 billion in funds.[121]

Under the terms of their agreement with Oxford, Related retains a sixty percent stake in the complex.[122]


A number of companies have moved their headquarters or New York City office to Hudson Yards or rival developments. These include financial firms, law firms, and miscellaneous technology, fashion, and media companies.[123] 10 Hudson Yards, which is the only open tower in the Hudson Yards complex as of June 2018, is occupied by Coach,[72] the Boston Consulting Group,[124] and Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs.[125] 30 Hudson Yards would be occupied by Time Warner,[126]DNB Bank,[127] and Wells Fargo once it opens.[128] 50 Hudson Yards would be occupied by at least three law firms (Boies, Schiller & Flexner;[129]Cooley LLP;[130] and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy[131]), as well as by electronic trading platform MarketAxess[132] and pharmaceutical company Intercept Pharmaceuticals.[133]

Joe Patrice, writing for Above the Law, noted that with the move of Cooley LLP to 55 Hudson Yards from the Grace Building there was an "official trend" of law firms moving to the new office buildings on the far West Side.[134] This move westward follows a trend from earlier in the 21st century, when firms began moving from parts of Midtown such as the Plaza District to Times Square and other areas with new office towers.[135]

A number of financial firms have left offices in Midtown or the Financial District for the development.[136] As a result of speculation that private equity company KKR might move to Hudson Yards, other finance-focused companies became more interested in the possibility of relocating there. KKR's long-time occupancy at the Solow Building in Midtown produced a similar effect, as Apollo Global Management, Och-Ziff Capital Management, and Silver Lake Partners had also taken space in the Midtown building.[137] KKR ultimately decided to move to 30 Hudson Yards; Silver Lake announced it would leave the Solow Building for 55 Hudson Yards in 2017 after speculation it would do so.[137][138]BlackRock, another major financial company, signed on as an anchor tenant at 50 Hudson Yards, where it is to occupy 850,000 square feet (79,000 m2).[139]

The largest Equinox gym in the world will be located in 35 Hudson Yards.[136] The building will also contain an Equinox-branded hotel. Related owns a majority stake in the fitness brand, purchased in 2005.[140]



Kohn Pedersen Fox designed the site's master plan, and designed individual buildings 10 and 30 Hudson Yards. Firms and individual architects working on distinct buildings did not meet to produce a uniform aesthetic or review the plans for individual buildings together.[141] Two architects involved in the project, Thomas Woltz and Bill Pedersen, have respectively compared the relationship between the buildings to "mastodons, pineapples, sheds, swizzlesticks and bubble mats" and "elephants dancing".[141]

Justin Davidson, writing for New York, referred to 10 Hudson Yards (then known as the "Coach Tower") as "taller, fatter, and greener" than historical New York City skyscrapers, despite more staid interiors with typical open floor plans and corresponding curtain wall.[142]


Hudson Yards sits within Manhattan's 100-year floodplain, and the rail lines have previously been flooded despite preventative measures.[143] Given that the bulk of the new structures will rise from an already elevated platform, the development is above the floodplain, and most mechanical systems are similarly raised. In addition, new elevator pits have been made waterproof.

Klaus Jacob, a professor at Columbia University, has stated approval of the project stems from the "shortsightedness of decision-making" by its developers and the city in the face of impending climate change.[144] In his 2017 novel New York 2140, author Kim Stanley Robinson mentions the inundation of the neighborhood by rising waters.[145]

Technology implementation

The rail yard development will be technologically advanced, in that all sorts of data will be collected within the buildings using sensors and other data-collecting instruments.[105][146] Among the innovations will be:

New York University's Center for Urban Science and Progress is designing the infrastructure with the developers of Hudson Yards. Fiber loops connected to satellite dishes on rooftops, to transponders, and to two-way radios will create a network covering the 14 acres (6 ha) of open space as well as 17,000,000 square feet (1,600,000 m2) of commercial space.[146] The technology is designed to be adaptable -- updates to infrastructure will be performed as new technological advances are made.[105]



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