Part of NYC's $25B Hudson Yards Unveiled

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2019

An opening ceremony on Friday (March 15) morning marked the official public debut of New York City’s $25 billion Hudson Yards development, showcasing the eastern half of the project, which includes four office buildings, two residential towers, a cultural center and the artistic pinnacle dubbed the Vessel.

“Today, we are a new neighborhood where the West Side all comes together,” developer Related Companies CEO Stephen Ross said at the ceremony.

“Today, we created a new model for the world to see a neighborhood development that encourages sustainability and resiliency. Today, we created a dynamic hub of creativity and innovation. Today, once again, we showed that New York will always be the greatest city in the world.”

The Debut

The 28-acre site on Manhattan’s West Side is billed as the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and NYC’s largest development since Rockefeller Center.

The celebration on Friday saw a handful of amenities open to the public, though the buildings vary between already occupied and still under construction.

The project’s Eastern Yard includes four office buildings: the 1.8 million-square-foot, 895-foot-tall 10 Hudson Yards, which opened in 2016; the 1,296-feet-tall 30 Hudson Yards, which will be home to the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere (about 100 feet higher than the one on the 86th  floor of the Empire State Building) and will open in 2020; the 985-foot-tall 50 Hudson Yards, which will take up a city block when it opens in 2022; and the 1.3 million-square-foot 55 Hudson Yards, located next to the High Line elevated park and completed last year.

The two residential towers are: 15 Hudson Yards, which will offer a mix of affordable and market-rate rentals when it opens this fall, and 35 Hudson Yards, a mixed-use condominium high-rise set to begin sales this week.

The Shed, a 200,000-square-foot cultural center, is set to open in April while the Shops and Restaurants at 20 Hudson Yards and the Thomas Heatherwick-designed interactive, climbable sculpture called the Vessel, were opened Friday as well.

The Vessel

The interactive centerpiece of the project, designed by Thomas Heatherwick, topped out in December 2017 at 150 feet.

"Vessel is one of the most complex pieces of steelwork ever made,” Heatherwick said in a statement. “Over the next few months we’ll focus on installing the final details of the structure, as its paving, balustrades, lighting and cladding come together to complete this different kind of public space.”

Heatherwick says that the studio was fascinated by the visual effect to repeating steps—the Vessel has 2,500 steps, 154 flights, 80 landings and 16 stories, weighing in at 3,200 tons.

The piece was made in Italy by steel fabricator Cimolai and was shipped over in 75 pieces. The framework includes “raw welded and painted steel contrasts with its polished copper-colored steel underside that reflects the surrounding city,” according to the studio.

“We needed to have a centerpiece, we needed to have an attraction, a destination—something where you would say, ‘I’ll meet you at,’” says Jay Cross, president of Related Hudson Yards, which partnered with the Oxford Properties Group to develop the site. “And we thought monumental art is the way to go.”

The Project

The development sits on top of a Long Island Rail Road yard, and Cross has noted that the maneuvering of materials came with some challenges.

“It was a little bit like open heart surgery, swinging steel and really working with the railroad,” he told CBS. “There was a lot of structural gymnastics.”

In addition to logistical challenges, legal battles have arisen out of the man-power-heavy project as well, though Related Cos. and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York announced just last week that they have struck a deal that should end the slew of media wars and lawsuits.

When complete, the site will include 16 towers total, in addition to The Shed and Vessel. Last week’s grouping amounts to about half of the complex, with the rest slated to be open by 2025.


Tagged categories: Commercial Construction; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Good Technical Practice; NA; North America; Ongoing projects; Public spaces; Residential Construction

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