Hudson Yards, developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center. The development encompasses a 28-acre west side neighborhood alongside the High Line, two residential buildings with roughly 400 condominiums, the Equinox Hotel®, two luxury rental buildings, The Shed (a multi-use entertainment venue), the Public Square and Gardens and its unique centerpiece, Vessel, and The Shops & Restaurants at Hudson Yards, making Hudson Yards the new epicenter of the world’s foremost metropolitan region.
Jay Cross, President of Related Hudson Yards, is leading the Related Companies’ development efforts of the 28-acre Hudson Yards site on the west side of New York City. Cross has over 30 years of diversified real estate and sports business experience having been a driving force behind the New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey, the American Airlines Arena in Miami and the Air Canada Centre, home for the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs.
Cross sat down with Leading Estates of the World and shared his vision for Hudson Yards: to knit residential and commercial together in a way that appears to be seamless, a planned integration that feels like the organic growth of a long-existing community.
To achieve this, Related Hudson Yards’ team asked, “Within the context of New York, what are the city’s favorite neighborhoods and why? What are the best office locations? What are the best residential locations and the best retail shopping locations?” The attributes they found were, in Cross’s words, “24/7 lively neighborhoods. Lively was a very key word. Authentic was another one. And that convinced us that in order to build a strong commercial destination, we had to really provide all those noncommercial elements. In order to provide a strong residential destination, we had to have a strong commercial heart. And so that led us to take a point of view that we would take the requirement of 50% of the site being open space and really celebrate that. So, we saw the open space and Thomas Heatherwick’s Vessel all as one piece. Which makes for a destination that the residents and the commercial tenants all will enjoy in a seamless way. That’s the secret sauce… every element must be best-in-class— best landscape, best public art, best retail environment, best residential lobby, best amenities, best health club, best hotel.”
Hudson Yards’ cultural complex is The Shed, a multi-arts center designed to commission, produce, and present all types of performing arts, visual arts, and popular culture. The Shed’s building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group, can be reconfigured to support various and even simultaneous performances, exhibitions, and events. The telescoping outer shell deploys over the adjoining plaza to provide a 120-foot-high, temperature-controlled hall, yet the seats can be removed for hosting art shows and banquets. Its sides can open up or it can disappear completely from the open-air plaza. There is a permanent 500-seat black-box theater, and “two galleries that are really as big and as elegant as the best galleries in the new Whitney or MOMA,” says Cross, “It’s really got this ambidextrous personality, which is designed to bridge design, music, art, spoken word, live performance, and digital productions. It’s extraordinary, unique, and unlike any other cultural institution in the world… it’s going to be an amazing attraction for the city, and particularly for Hudson Yards.”
Bringing all of the pieces of the Hudson Yards development together is the Public Square and Gardens, designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz, which sits between the two principle residential buildings. In the center of the Gardens is the interactive, climbable art installation, Vessel, designed by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studios. Comprised of 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs— almost 2,500 individual steps— and 80 landings, Vessel offers the public a multitude of ways to engage with and experience New York, Hudson Yards, and each other. In total, Vessel will offer a mile’s worth of pathway rising up above the Gardens.
On the culinary front, Hudson Yards will offer an unprecedented number of food and beverage opportunities in the complex, Cross says. “That leads to a lot of diversity. And part of that diversity is bringing new names to New York—D&D out of London, Rhubarb out of London— we’ve really tried to take the best of New York, like Milos by Costas Spiliadis and Michael Lomonaco, who does Porter House here. We’ve got a great mix of really successful New York restaurateurs with international restaurateurs.”
In its Elkus Manfredi-designed retail space, Hudson Yards will launch with New York’s first and only Neiman Marcus. Approximately 100 luxury and specialty stores and unique restaurants will occupy nearly 720,000 leasable square feet of the astonishing, vertical space.
The residential spaces at Hudson Yards are filled with additional amenities far beyond the cultural offerings for the entire community. In addition to several rental properties, the first of the two condominium residential buildings currently under construction is Fifteen Hudson Yards, which holds 285 units and is already on the market. Fifteen Hudson Yards is built up against the High Line and has The Shed at its base.
“EVERY ELEMENT MUST BE BEST-IN-CLASS: BEST LANDSCAPE, BEST PUBLIC ART, BEST RETAIL ENVIRONMENT, BEST RESIDENTIAL LOBBY, BEST AMENITIES, BEST HEALTH CLUB, BEST HOTEL.”JAY CROSS, PRESIDENT, RELATED HUDSON YARDS
Cross says, “The combination of the High Line and The Shed at the base of the building just automatically gives it a real personality. We see what’s happening to the south in Chelsea, which is now one of the hottest markets in town. We are the punctuation point at the top of that activity.”
That punctuation point is tall. Cross states “It’s a tall building so the views at the top, at the penthouse, are second to none. We view this building as in direct competition with the Central Park South Building and a lot of the iconic buildings being built in Midtown, and that includes the quality of the amenities. The amenity floors are in the middle of the building, so they’re up in the 40s and 50s. So, you’re swimming in a pool and you’re 50 stories in the air. It’s pretty spectacular.” Hudson Yards offers best-of-class in lifestyle, fitness, and wellness. On level 51 is private dining, a theater, and wine storage. The Rooftop Sky Garden is open to the sky but surrounded by very high glass up above the duplex penthouse, allowing all the residents from lower floors to go up and share the view.
The second residential building, Thirty-Five Hudson Yards, will have 140 units and is planned to open in 2019. This second building will house the Equinox Hotel® and a number of restaurants in a true mixed-use building.
The largest office building within the development is 30 Hudson Yards. Cross says, “We have an observation deck at the top of Thirty Hudson Yards that will be the tallest outdoor observation deck in the city – higher than the Empire State Building. It has an event space at the top and a lounge, like a 21st-century version of the Rainbow Room.”
Above this extraordinary neighborhood is Penthouse 88B in Fifteen Hudson Yards. A spectacular aerie perched on the 88th floor near the crown of the building, the Penthouse wraps the southwest corner with a stunning arc of floor-to-ceiling glass spanning over 100 feet and offering an uninterrupted 270-degree panorama of never-ending views of the Hudson River, New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline from Freedom Tower to Madison Square. Encompassing a generous 5,161 square feet, the double- height residence boasts a dramatic firelit great room with soaring 26-foot ceilings, a dining room, and separate library/ office. A custom Bulthaup kitchen with Miele appliances opens onto a large family room and there is room in the plan for the creation of a staff bedroom. At the top of a gorgeous glass staircase with handsome oak treads, a sitting/media room with wet bar overlooks the great room and leads to three bedroom suites, including a spacious master suite with beautiful sunset and river views, double dressing rooms, and dual master baths. A private elevator, two utility rooms, service entrance, and total of 6.5 baths complete this unique opportunity to live at the top of Hudson Yards. Penthouse 88B is $32 million. Spectacular two- to four-bedroom residences priced from approximately $3.9 million.
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