Hudson Yards is the most expensive real estate development in US history | Digital Asia

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A ground view of Vessel, the site's prominent art installation

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A ground view of Vessel, the site’s prominent art installation
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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

At $25 billion, is the most in US . It’s also one of the largest: Once completed, the project will span more than 18 million square feet, including 14 acres of public space.

With two buildings already completed and many more underway, the development now overwhelms the Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods near the Eastern and Western Railyards. Though recognized by its public landmark – a 150-feet-tall honeycomb structure known as Vessel – its buildings are masterful achievements in their own right.

Business Insider got a rare peek inside the development site, which is bustling with activity and a maze of new construction. Every day there’s a new path to navigate, said Geoff Butler, the senior project manager at Related Companies, which is co-developing the site with Oxford Properties Group.

Even on a cloudy day, the buildings’ reflective panels glisten in a celebration of progress.

Take a look at how the development is coming along.


Stepping onto the construction site, the eye immediately goes toward Vessel, a $150 million public art installation.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The structure is the brainchild of British designer Thomas Heatherwick, who designed the 2012 Olympic cauldron and Seed Cathedral in the UK.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Vessel is comprised of 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, which total almost 2,500 individual steps.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The base alone is 50 feet tall.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The building’s 80 different landings offer multiple views of the Hudson River.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The walls consist of a painted steel frame polished with a copper-colored steel skin.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Construction on Vessel began in April 2017, and is scheduled to be complete by March 2019.


Nestled between 10 and 30 Hudson Yards, the site’s 720,000-square-foot retail building is anchored by Neiman Marcus, which will occupy three floors.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The building, which opens in March, features two gilded observation decks that overlook the public square.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The building’s tenants include Zara, H&M, Sephora, Banana Republic, and a 6,000-square-foot Watches of Switzerland showroom.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

To the right of the retail center is 10 Hudson Yards, which feeds directly into the High Line. The structure is designed to meet LEED Platinum standards — the highest green building certification.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The structure, which opened in May 2016, already contains companies like L’Oréal USA, Sidewalk Labs, Guardian, and The Boston Consulting Group.


Each year, the site’s irrigation systems will filter and reuse nearly 10 million gallons of storm water collected from roofs and public plazas.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The site uses data sensors to capture traffic patterns, air quality, pedestrian flow, and power demands.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Before it approved the development plans, the city mandated the construction of a nonprofit cultural center. This led to the creation of The Shed, which will host events like art installations, concerts, and conventions.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The Shed features a retractable outer shell, which can be activated within five minutes via wireless remote to create a temperature-controlled space.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The shell is held up by six track-bound wheels, which allow it to roll back for outdoor events.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The building, which drew inspiration from the Palais-Royal in Paris, is being touted as a potential site for New York Fashion Week.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

To the right of The Shed, 15 Hudson Yards offers nearly 400 rental and for-sale residences, including 100 affordable apartments.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The building, which contains a 75-foot swimming pool, screening room, rooftop lounge, and private co-working space, directly overlooks the Hudson River.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

A standard apartment starts at around $3.9 million, and more than half of the units have already been sold.


The president of Related Hudson Yards, Jay Cross, said the typical tenant is a domestic buyer with multiple homes. “[Perhaps] they’ve raised their family in New Jersey or Westchester and they want to have a place in the city,” he said.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Cross calls the site “one giant 80-20” — a reference to the city’s housing program, which requires at least 20% of units to be set aside for low-income residents.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Across the plaza is 35 Hudson Yards, the future home of 60,000-square-foot Equinox fitness center and an Equinox Hotel with more than 200 rooms.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

At 1,000 feet tall, it’s the site’s tallest residential structure. Upon completion in 2019, the building will feature more than 140 condos.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The prism-like structure was designed by David Childs, the architect behind the Freedom Tower.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Next door is 55 Hudson Yards, a 1.3 million-square-foot office tower that will open at the end of the year.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The entire site features more than 28,000 plants, including a forest of trees that sits above a ventilation system powered by 15 large fans. These fans help remove the heat generated by the train equipment below.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

The finished project will include two platforms that form a bridge above the active Long Island Rail Road tracks. The platforms will eventually cover three-quarters of the Eastern and Western Railyards.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

With phase one underway, the second of two phrases is set to be complete by 2024.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

“Our goal is to move the center of gravity” in New York City, said Cross. Once it’s finished, the site will contribute nearly $19 billion annually to the city’s economy.

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Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

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