The city's bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics may have flopped, but the mad dash to convince the Olympic committee that New York City was a serious contender would have profound impacts on the shape of Manhattan to come. The city's bid helped speed up a 40 million square foot rezoning of Manhattan's far West Sideto put that into context, an area as large as downtown Bostonwhere the masterminds behind the bid imagined erecting a stadium central to the games. Although London was ultimately selected as the 2012 host city, the far West Side's rezoninga process that may have taken decades without the bidwould set it up for something arguably greater: Hudson Yards.
The 28-acre rail yard-topping mega-project will be, according to Related's Vice President Michael Samuelian, the "first post-digital neighborhood" if not in the city, in the world. Consider it a DisneyWorld of the modern age (and for those who have traded Tinkertoys for tech gadgets.) The new neighborhood will sit atop a platform of epic engineering, that won't only support the buildings but will also act as the neighborhood's basement, connecting structures and systems and whisking trash away through a series of pneumatic tubes all to the oblivion of its guests. No one, save for a few workers, will ever see the neighborhood's innards. Instead, people will see the yards' inviting outdoor space, soaring glass towers, and retail.
Hudson Yards is "literally and figuratively a platform for innovation," Samuelian joked before a site tour of the project's East Yard last week. He explained Related's vision for the site, which will likely mirror its reality thanks to some serious studies that helped the developer determine the kinds of people who will be attracted to the area for both living and work: unsurprisingly, early adopters of technology and millennials.
For a project that is as fantastical as Hudson Yards sounds, things are getting real over there around Tenth Avenue and 33rd Street. Now, take a look at some of the site's progress as it moves towards its very glassy, very impressive future.