Exciting time for New Yorkers as Hudson Yards takes shape

By REBNY President John Banks

Last week, we got our first look at a big and bold public landmark that’s coming soon to Manhattan’s Far West Side.

Related Companies and Oxford Property Group’s’ “Vessel” was designed by Thomas Heatherwick, whose previous works include the 2012 Olympic Cauldron, Pacific Palace in Hong Kong and redesigned London’s double-decker bus. The 15-story structure is reminiscent of a giant vase, and features 2,500 steps comprising 154 interwoven staircases, with each of the 80 landings presenting a unique view of the surrounding area – the Public Square and Gardens at Hudson Yards.

Vessel will be more than just the next tourist attraction for our city; once it opens in 2018, it will be the centerpiece of Hudson Yards’ Public Square and Gardens and a participatory structure for all New Yorkers to visit and experience. It will complement the surrounding 17 million square feet of both residential and commercial space as well as provide a focal point amidst the hundreds of trees and lush greenery in the area. In total, Hudson Yards will feature 14 acres of public plazas and parks that will not only connect the area to Hudson River Park and the High Line, they will also come together to breathe new life into the Manhattan’s west side and create a destination for native New Yorkers and tourists alike. I personally look forward to spending the occasional warm afternoon or evening with my family in this exciting new area, which will be the most significant additions to our city’s cultural landscape in years.

Heatherwick hopes that Vessel will also serve an additional functional purpose. Due to its overall length of roughly one mile, it presents exciting new exercise opportunities for future visitors to go for runs, walks, or engage in even more focused workouts, all while taking  in unique views from the heart of the nation’s largest construction project to date.

The public space and installation are both being paid for with private funds.The unveiling of Vessel isn’t the only big news to come out of New York’s biggest ongoing project. Last week, condo sales at 15 Hudson Yards officially began.

This 88-story, 285-unit tower will place its residents right next to the High Line, Hudson River Park, and Hudson Park & Boulevard, as well as many other transit, retail, and dining options. This is in addition to its proximity to other cultural attractions such as the Whitney Museum and The Shed, an upcoming cultural enter that will offer galleries, a theater, an artist’s lab, and more. It will also feature 106 affordable rental units and five residence types, ranging from one-to-three bedroom floor plans with floor-to-ceiling windows to penthouses on the 88th floor totaling over 5,000 square feet. Also scheduled to be completed in 2018, 15 Hudson Yards is designed for LEED Gold certification, and its state-of-the-art windows will provide 270 degree panoramic views of the city and Hudson River. This building is not only an exciting new place to live, it is also significant in the sense that it represents the first opportunity for New Yorkers to live in the emerging neighborhood that is Manhattan’s West Side.

In short, big things are happening in Hudson Yards as the project moves closer to completion. I would like to congratulate everyone who played a part in making a project of this scale possible, and look forward to seeing what exciting new developments will take place as Hudson Yards begins to take shape in New York City’s continuing evolution.

In other REBNY News:

Our 8th Annual Summer Donation Drive has been extended through September 30th! We’re working with The Bowery Mission to serve homeless and hungry New Yorkers, and REBNY’s members are encouraged to donate soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, shaving cream and more new items to help restore dignity and respect to our city’s homeless community.

Due to popular demand, Sustainability Boot Camp – sponsored by CodeGreen Solutions, Con Edison Solutions, National Grid, NORESCO, and Zones – will continue this Fall with BOMA’s International Energy Efficiency Program: BEEP® Version 2.0! Taught by NORESCO, the eight-hour course will be offered at a discounted cost of $45 per person. Commercial building staff can register for courses online at www.rebny.com. The energy efficiency and sustainability training pilot program led by the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, in collaboration with REBNY, Building Owners and Managers Association of New York (BOMA NY), and Urban Green Council, complements citywide sustainability initiatives including Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC goal of 80 by 50, a blueprint to reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.