The Hudson Yards is the biggest development project in NYC since Rockefeller Center.

Construction began last year on the massive 28-acre site.

With condos, apartments, and offices, plus a school, park, hotel, shopping center, and cultural event space, the $20 billion project will attract an estimated 68,000 visitors a day at its expected full completion in 2024.

The challenge of attracting top office tenants shaped design and planning of the project, with the mix of uses aimed at appealing to a new generation of workers, says Jay Cross, president of Related Hudson Yards, the private real estate developer leading the project.

By 2015, when the first building, 10 Hudson Yards, is finished, millennials will already comprise half of the workforce, he says. By the time the last building is supposed to be done, this younger generation of workers will represent almost 75%.

“The corporates who are going to relocate their corporate headquarters here, what we find as a never-ending theme [with them] is: How do I get the best talent in New York, and how do I hold on, how do I keep that talent? Engaging that talent, and giving companies a competitive advantage, I think, is a big part of what we’re trying to do, physically," he says.

Related Companies studied and sought to court the millennial demographic by creating a place where it is possible, in theory, for a person to satisfy their every need.

It's a concept that seems strange in New York City, where accessible public transit and limitless options for eating and entertainment usually means there's no real need to live on top of the office.

“They want a lot of work-life integration--far more than goes on in my generation--and they want to work for innovative companies,” Cross says, of the younger generation.

“If we create an environment in which innovative companies want to come and congregate, we’re going to create the same environment in which people want to live, shop, and work. So that’s driven a lot of our decisions, especially related to technology.”

Hudson Yards will have its own looped fiber network, with one gigabit of free Wi-Fi in public spaces and a distributed antenna system that will make sure everyone will get a strong mobile phone signal, regardless of carrier.

All of its utilities, including Hudson Yards’ own onsite electric microgrid, 13.2 megawatt natural gas co-generation plant and four diesel generators, will be located 40 feet above sea level, meaning that the complex will be a “place of refuge,” as Cross says, during future Hurricane Sandy-like disasters.

Most interestingly, Related is working with NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress to create an entire “quantified” neighborhood filled with data-collecting sensors--on building equipment, appliances, and on a voluntary basis, on people’s smartphones, too.

So far, major tenants include beauty and fashion companies Coach and L’Oreal and the technology company SAP, which will all occupy the LEED Gold building at 10 Hudson Yards.

Their floors will be sprawling and open, free from columns, and have floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to the Hudson River and connect into the newly extended High Line park.

Another building, 30 Hudson Yards, will house Time Warner (along with its Turner Broadcasting, HBO, and Warner Brothers divisions) along with the tallest outdoor observation deck in the city at the top and a direct connection to a new subway station, an extension of the existing No. 7 subway line.

A third building will house offices designed a smaller plan, intended for the more traditionally minded legal and financial companies that historically have anchored Manhattan’s economy.

The mix echoes the growth of the larger neighborhood of the West Side of Manhattan, a 400,000-person population area bounded by Columbus Circle and Tribeca to the north and south, and 8th Avenue and the Hudson River to the east and west.

This image was taken during a tour of the construction site in July. Related will be building a platform over the Long Island Railroad's rail yards, and the buildings will rise above it.

But first they must build a "tunnel box"--reserving a place for a potential future Amtrak line that would go under the site and across the Hudson River.

In the distance, you can see the new glass-covered station that will be the entrance for the extended number 7 subway line, near the development.

2014-07-29

Co.Exist

New York's New $20 Billion Neighborhood Of Skyscrapers Is Designed With Millennials In Mind

The new $20 billion Hudson Yards development project is designed specifically to court the younger demographic that companies want in their workforces.

Employers, and by extension, cities seeking growth and tax dollars, are competing more fiercely than ever to become centers of innovation and attract top talent. In New York City, that thinking applies to the city within a city that will rise above wide-open expanse of rail yards on Manhattan’s West Side.

According to its developers, you'd have to go back to the construction of Rockefeller Center to find a development project in New York City that’s bigger than the Hudson Yards, the massive 17-million square foot, 28-acre site where began construction last year. With condos, apartments, and offices, plus a school, park, hotel, shopping center, and cultural event space, the $20 billion project will attract an estimated 68,000 visitors a day at its expected full completion in 2024.

The challenge of attracting top office tenants shaped design and planning of the project, with the mix of uses aimed at appealing to a new generation of workers, says Jay Cross, president of Related Hudson Yards, the private real estate developer leading the project. By 2015, when the first building, 10 Hudson Yards, is finished, millennials will already comprise half of the workforce, he says. By the time the last building is done, this younger generation of workers will be approaching 75%.

"It’s much more than a real estate project, and we actually have to step back and not think of it in those terms," he says. "The corporates who are going to relocate their corporate headquarters here, what we find as a never-ending theme [with them] is: How do I get the best talent in New York, and how do I hold on, how do I keep that talent? Engaging that talent, and giving companies a competitive advantage, I think, is a big part of what we’re trying to do, physically."

And so Related studied and sought to court the millennial demographic by creating a place where it's possible, in theory, for a person to satisfy their every need. It's a concept that seems strange in New York City, where accessible public transit and limitless options for eating and entertainment usually means there's no real need to live on top of the office.

"They want a lot of work-life integration—far more than goes on in my generation—and they want to work for innovative companies," Cross says, of the younger generation. "If we create an environment in which innovative companies want to come and congregate, we’re going to create the same environment in which people want to live, shop, and work. So that’s driven a lot of our decisions, especially related to technology."

Hudson Yards will have its own looped fiber network, with one gigabit free Wi-Fi in public spaces and a distributed antenna system that will make sure everyone will get a strong mobile phone signal, regardless of carrier. All of its utilities, including Hudson Yards’ own onsite electric microgrid, 13.2 megawatt natural gas co-generation plant and four diesel generators, will be located 40 feet above sea level, meaning that the complex will be a "place of refuge," as Cross says, during future Hurricane Sandy-like disasters. Related is also working with NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress to create an entire "quantified" neighborhood filled with data-collecting sensors—on building equipment, appliances, and on a voluntary basis, on people’s smartphones, too. They will be working with one future office tenant, SAP, and other partners to form a laboratory that will build useful applications with this data, which could measure everything from shopping habits to energy use.

So far, major tenants include beauty and fashion companies Coach and L’Oreal and the technology company SAP, which will all occupy the LEED Gold building at 10 Hudson Yards. Their floors will be sprawling and open, free from columns, and have floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to the Hudson River and connect into the newly extended High Line park. Another building, 30 Hudson Yards, will house Time Warner (along with its Turner Broadcasting, HBO, and Warner Brothers divisions) along with the tallest outdoor observation deck in the city at the top and a direct connection to a new subway station, an extension of the existing No. 7 subway line. A third building will house offices designed a smaller plan, intended for the more traditionally minded legal and financial companies that historically have anchored Manhattan’s economy.

The mix echoes the growth of the larger neighborhood of the West Side of Manhattan, a 400,000-person population area bounded by Columbus Circle and Tribeca to the north and south, and 8th Avenue and the Hudson River to the east and west. According to Cross, people who are moving to this growth area include single, educated people with high household incomes and from a more diverse range of industries than is typical of New York (around 20% are in tech, 35% in creative industries, and only 15% are in finance or law).

This all bodes well for a completely new, young, and vibrant community. But there’s also a certain planned sterility about it all that reflects a city that's becoming a harder place to live for the young people who don’t work at companies like SAP or Time Warner.

[Images: ©Related Oxford]

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6 Comments

  • John Nicholson

    This is a really cool project. We already have something similar in London and plans for at least 3 others. But the economy crisis affected them a bit and things slowed down in terms of construction. Looks great.

    Best Regards: http://bit.ly/1oax2Wq

  • Steve Weinstein

    I must be dense because I don't see companies like Coach, Time-Warner or L'Oreal as exactly futuristic, nor do I see how some up-to-date construction details like a natural-gas generating station would attract (or deter, for that matter) anyone of any age. As for an "environment to live, shop and work," I live in the old tenement part of Hell's Kitchen. Within three blocks of me are world HQ of Kenneth Cole & Ogilvy Int'l. I never go beyond a three-block radius to shop. I just don't see what's so "millennial" about this particular ultra-expensive mega-development — except as a useful buzz word.

  • While they did play it safe with the design, I really like it. The subtle slants of the skyscraper creates a pretty cool effect. Can't wait to see the finished product!

  • narfmonkey

    What seems strange is that for a place hoping to attract millenials, it offers little in the way of visual 'permanence or privacy'. Glass arranged in this way is simply a large window with zero personality or identity other than the people inside, making this place an unfortunate blank-slate and providing no emotional or mental comfort to a generation of people already floating in an ocean of assimilated identities. It's a missed opportunity to encourage those that work and live within by putting some care into designing a building that looks unique or has any sense of tangible solidity. I guess it's not strange - its possible that cost-cutting has caused it to look like this, blind following of trends or the head architect/founders lack of belief in the permanence of man and his character. Say what you will about some of the stone buildings in Wall St, for instance, but their outer details and solidity exude a confidence in the determination and possibilities of humanity.

  • Any vertical farms? Interesting, no churches, but a cultural center. Appropriate for this area and the people it wants to attract.