Joe Minihane sizes up Hudson Yards, Manhattan’s towering new neighbourhood.
Hudson Yards, which sits between 10th and 12th Avenues from West 30th to West 34th Street and opens to the public from 15th March, is the largest ever private development in the United States, with 18 million square feet of commercial and residential space. There are over 100 shops and restaurants, 14 acres of open space, the world’s first Equinox Hotel and, in the case of The Shed, Manhattan’s first major new cultural space since the Lincoln Center.
That it exists at all is a miracle of engineering. The entire 28-acre development sits atop 30 active rail lines and three railways tunnels. Its glass and steel skyscrapers tower from supports, embedded between the train tracks. In the five years since work began, those lines remained operational, a testament to the engineering nous of those behind Hudson Yards. It’s allowed for the creation of the most exciting new neighbourhood in New York in decades, in a part of town that had for years felt like a no man’s land.
“Hudson Yards will be a game-changing development for New York’s cultural landscape,” says Andreas Leuzinger, founder of personalised New York travel service Localike. “It will activate the city’s West side waterfront with a self-sustaining ecosystem that will benefit New Yorkers and visitors alike.”
Its towers and public spaces promise to be a destination in their own right. Chief among them is The Vessel. Created by globally renowned architect Thomas Heatherwick, it’s the centrepiece of the entire development, a series of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs that looks like an Esher painting brought to life.
If The Vessel is Hudson Yards’ ground-floor calling card, then Edge, the observation deck that juts out from the Kohn Pedersen Fox–designed 30 Hudson Yards, is the neighbourhood’s hottest tourist attraction. The highest outdoor observation deck in New York, it sticks 65 feet out from the main building, with a glass floor allowing you to stare 1,100 feet down onto the city streets below.
But while these public spaces will doubtless bring in thousands of visitors, it’s Hudson Yards’ luxury offerings that have really caught the eye. The stunning Equinox Hotel, found within the one million square foot 35 Hudson Yards, has 200 rooms and promises to set the standard for cultural breaks in one of the greatest cities in the world. A private, 101st floor event space at 30 Hudson Yards is set to be the ultimate private party venue. And top–end restaurants, including Mercado Little Spain, a set of three spaces curated by chef Jose Andres and Wild Ink, from London - based Rhubarb, promise dining experiences to rival the very best throughout Manhattan.
“We're incredibly excited to welcome the much-anticipated Hudson Yards,” says Fred Dixon, CEO and President of NYC & Company, which promotes tourism across the Five Boroughs. “Through this unprecedented development, we are able to offer locals and visitors alike even more world-class cultural, retail and dining opportunities, in an area of Manhattan previously rarely visited by tourists.”
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