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Hudson Yards construction update: a status check on the Manhattan megaproject

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See how far the effort to remake the West Side of Manhattan has come in recent years

It’s been a little more than four years since Hudson Yards got its groundbreaking, and in that time, the 28-acre megaproject has transformed the far west side of Manhattan. What was once just rail yards has, in the past couple of years, begun to look like an honest-to-god neighborhood.

Buildings are on the rise (one of them, 10 Hudson Yards, opened last year), there’s a new subway station, and bits of parkland, including the third section of the High Line, are adding much-needed greenery to the once-industrial area.

And now, one of the final pieces of Hudson Yards’s first phase is making its ascent: Earlier today, Related hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for Vessel, Thomas Heatherwick’s elliptical sculpture that will occupy the center of the megaproject once. The first of the structure’s interconnecting pieces was put into place; eventually, more than 150 of the steel staircases will be put into place (or, as Heatherwick describes it, “pieced together like an incredible jigsaw puzzle”), creating a 150-foot-tall climbable piece of public art.

While Vessel’s groundbreaking is an important milestone, it’s far from the only construction progress that is being made at Hudson Yards. Though most of the buildings that are currently in the works won’t open for a year or so, they’ve made significant progress—visits to the site in December of last year, and just this week show how far the buildings have come along in just a few months, let alone since they started rising.

With everything that’s happening at the site, it’s a perfect time for a construction update. And a small caveat: While the entire Hudson Yards Special District comprises more than just Related’s parcel—Tishman Speyer, for example, is developing the Bjarke Ingels-designed Spiral nearby, and myriad other buildings by big-name developers like Extell are also in the works—we’ve chosen to focus solely on Related’s buildings here.

Read on to find out how far the first phase’s myriad skyscrapers have progressed, and what to expect in the weeks and months to come.

On the site’s western edge, there’s 35 Hudson Yards (left), and 55 Hudson Yards (right). The former, designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, has thus far risen to its ninth floor; once it’s complete, it’ll stand 1,000 feet tall and have a hotel, apartments, and the first Equinox-branded hotel.

Next door, 55 Hudson Yards (designed by KPF and Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo Associates) is further along, having risen to the 36th floor. It’s on track for a 2018 completion, and when it’s done, it’ll have more than a million square feet of office space, of which 50 percent is already leased.

The megaproject’s tallest building, 30 Hudson Yards, will tower over the rest of the development at nearly 1,300 feet high—and it’ll be home to the slightly terrifying open-air observation deck that’ll be suspended more than 1,100 feet in the air. But for now, it’s still in the works: construction has reached the 38th floor, with an anticipated completion date of 2019.

When it’s finished, 30 Hudson Yards will be home to Time Warner, Turner Broadcasting, and their subsidiaries (including HBO and CNN); it’ll also serve as the headquarters of Related and Oxford, the folks behind the megaproject.

The retail portion of the megaproject, called the Shops and Restaurants at Hudson Yards, is beginning to look like the enormous mall it will eventually become. Escalators in the seven-story shopping center have been installed, as have the more than 600 glass panels that make up its distinctive curtain wall. The building that houses the retail is also home to a generator that can power the entire megaproject should another emergency—like Hurricane Sandy—knock out power in the city.

Once the shopping center opens in 2018, it’ll be home to the city’s first Neiman Marcus outpost, along with restaurants by Thomas Keller and Jose Andres, among others.

The southern end of the development is home to The Shed, the site’s 200,000-square-foot cultural center, and Fifteen Hudson Yards, the 910-foot residential tower—both of which were designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with the Rockwell Group. Both structures are coming along, construction-wise, with Fifteen Hudson Yards recently surpassing the 19th floor.

Sales have been brisk in that particular building, one of two residential towers in Hudson Yards’s first phase. It launched sales last fall, and the apartments it currently has up for grabs range from a $3.8 million two-bedroom to a $35 million penthouse. It’ll also have the usual roster of over-the-top luxury condo amenities once it’s complete.

10 Hudson Yards, designed by KPF, has been open for nearly a year, and tenants include L’Oreal, Coach, and Sidewalk Labs. It also has a direct connection to the High Line, and will incorporate the High Line Spur—the park’s final section—once it’s complete.

Even though that’s a lot of square footage, it’s just the beginning for Hudson Yards: Phase Two of the megaproject, which will cover the Western Rail Yard (pictured above), won’t get underway until 2018. Once it does, it’ll hold the bulk of the megaproject’s residential space—six apartment towers, at last count—along with a public school, though design teams for those have yet to be announced.

There’s also 50 Hudson Yards, which is part of the first phase of development and currently in the earliest phases of construction. Demolition work on the McDonald’s on 34th Street that it’s replacing began just last month. Once complete, the supertall tower, designed by Foster + Partners, will be one of the city’s largest office buildings; but that’s not due to happen until 2022.

Hudson Yards

347 10th Avenue, Manhattan, NY 10001 (212) 801-1000 Visit Website

High Line

btwn Gansevoort & W 34th St, New York, NY 10011 (212) 500-6035 Visit Website

Hudson Yards

, Manhattan, NY 10001

10 Hudson Yards

10 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001

55 Hudson Yards

55 Hudson Yards, New York, NY 10001