Hudson Yards

New York City, NY / Phase 1 Completed 2019; Phase 2: Construction (est. completion 2024)/ 28 acres / ~$726 million

Hudson Yards, called “the neighborhood of the future” by Fast Company, has been celebrated as a public-private win, but not without contention and complexity. The first phase of this 28-acre, mixed-use megaproject was officially unveiled in 2019, a decade after the plans were finalized, and many decades and revisions after the first proposed idea. Critics say the scale of development is extravagant, but detractors of this type of project are not unexpected.

The project has created many new jobs, 14 acres of public open space, and room for both luxury and affordable housing, art, restaurants, a public school, gardens, a plaza, and commercial space. The main attraction is called the Vessel, an interactive, exploratory space, with stairs connecting viewing platforms, designed by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio.

This masterplanned live-work neighborhood is built over an operational railyard in Manhattan’s foodie-fashionista West Side. The lid, or “deck” as it’s commonly called, includes structural columns to support buildings and allow ventilation for the rail yard. The project was awarded New York City’s first LEED Neighborhood Development Gold certification, with some buildings qualifying for LEED Platinum certification.

The Department of City Planning and the New York City Economic Development Corporation coordinated the master plan, which included underground connections to the subway. The primary private co-developers—Related Companies and Oxford Properties—hold a $1 billion, 99-year air-rights lease with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) for the area.

Eventually, Hudson Yards is expected to contribute nearly $19 billion annually to New York City’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and is just one piece of the overall economic impact the redevelopment of the Hudson Yards district will have on the city, state and region. The pandemic has created some uncertainty, but the second phase of the project is underway and scheduled to be complete in 2024.