In what may seem like a backhanded vote of confidence for Related Companies’ Hudson Yards development, Extell’s Gary Barnett has revived plans to build on their parcel at Eleventh Avenue between 33rd and 34th streets and he’s unabashedly naming it “One Hudson Yards.” Like Related’s new Coach tower, Extell’s Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed tower will sit on terra firma, while the majority of Related’s multi-use plan will be built atop the functioning rail yards. The proposed tower would rise 56 stories above the No. 7 line entrance. The compliment missed: Related’s Steve Ross told the New York Post that the name was an attempt to “deceive tenants and the public.”
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Mayor Bloomberg evoked Fitzgerald today when he announced the deal between Sterling Equities and Related Companies to revamp Willets Point. "Today the 'valley of ashes' is well on its way to becoming the site of historic private investment," the mayor said in a statement, referring to the gritty midpoint between Gatsby's West Egg manse and Manhattan. The plan pegs its success to a mega entertainment/retail hub just west of the stadium, that sounds very much a part of a trend in projects that used to be called malls, but are now called retail/entertainment attractions (see also the aptly named American Dream in NJ). Willets West, as the new complex will be called, promises to convert a former parking lot into more than one million square feet of retail, movie theaters, restaurants, venues, and, of course, parking. But before that the city will spend $100 million east side of the site in demolition and cleanup of the former auto repair shops and junk yards, and then install much needed basic infrastructure. The city is already installing $50 million worth of sewers. Also east of the stadium, the Sterling/Related partnership, called the Queens Development Corporation, will begin developing the 126th Street corridor, where a 200 room hotel will abut 30,000 square feet of retail and a twenty acre interim parking lot. After all that is done, then comes the housing. The Willets Point Community, as it is to be called, will have 4.5 million square feet of mixed-use development. This phase of the project will include construction of the Van Wyck Expressway's access ramps that city got approval for in April. Another 900,000 square feet of street level retail will meet 500,000 square feet of office space, another hotel, and 2,500 units of housing, of which 35 percent will be affordable. That the housing comes so late in the game has got more than few politians up up in arms. The Daily News reported early this week that City Coucilmember Karen Koslowitz was not pleased. It's a pretty sensitive topic that was initially raises in The Wall Street Journal last month, which cited Willets Point and Atlantic Yards as examples of where housing was used to win favor with the locals but ends up being the last component of the project scheduled for completion.
Tonight, the design team from the High Line will present plans for Section 3 to the community. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe will introduce James Corner from the project's lead team, James Corner Field Operations, and Ricardo Scofidio from Diller Scofidio + Renfro. High Line co-founder Robert Hammond will moderate a post presentation discussion. Unlike the last two sections of the High Line, Section 3 will be intimately integrated with one major developer, as opposed to a variety of property owners and stakeholders. From 30th to 34th Street, the High Line wraps around Hudson Yards, the 12 million square foot office and residential district being developed by Related Companies. Much of the new section will be built cheek by jowl with Related's construction. At the westernmost section overlooking the Hudson River, an interim walkway will span the existing self-seeded landscape, so as coordinated design efforts alongside Related's development and give Friends of the High Line time to raise more funds. The estimated total cost of capital construction on the High Line at the rail yards is $90 million. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of 2013 with a full public opening in spring 2014. All renderings courtesy Friends of the High Line. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.
Mayor Bloomberg and top city officials joined executives from the Related Companies, Oxford Properties, and fashion label Coach underneath the northernmost spur of the High Line on Tuesday to announce the first anchor tenant at Hudson Yards on Manhattan's West Side. "Today we announce Coach as the anchor tenant at Hudson Yards," said Related CEO Stephen Ross. He told the crowd that construction could start in a few months. Coach will relocate 1,500 employees currently scattered across three buildings nearby into a sleek glass and steel KPF-designed tower overlooking the High Line, occupying about a third of the planned first tower. Covering 26 acres along the Hudson River and spanning a LIRR train storage yard, Hudson Yards will mix residential, commercial, retail, and cultural space to create what Ross described as the "Rockefeller Center of the 21st century." Two tapering buildings on the eastern edge of the site—the first to be built—tilt away from each other, appearing to peek overtop of their neighbors. They are joined by a seven-story glass-enclosed retail podium, forming a twin-towers-over-a-mall typology that Related made famous at the Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle. At 5.5 million square feet and three city blocks long, Related says the "superblock building" will be the largest commercial building in New York. "Finally you're going to get a building as nice as your pocket books," said New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. The neighborhood is poised to become a center of fashion and culture in Manhattan, a point Bloomberg made in declaring that Fashion Week will someday take place at the Culture Shed, an arts center designed by Diller, Scofidio & Renfro with Rockwell Group planned at Hudson Yards. While not on stage for the announcement, Bill Pedersen of KPF remarked on the mega-project's design in a statement. "Hudson Yards must link to the prevailing industrial character of the West Side, while also summarizing this context with a fresh visual dynamic. As a time when extraordinary urban projects are arising around the world, Hudson Yards will be an important symbol of New York's continued leadership in global urbanism." The development of Hudson Yards is aided by the extension of the number 7 subway line from Times Square that officials said is on schedule to open at the end of 2013. New glass-canopied subway entrances designed by Toshiko Mori Architect will be located in Hudson Park designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh north of the site. The announcement is also a boon to the third and final segment of the High Line, which wraps around the Hudson Yards site. Coach's new global headquarters is located in the shorter, southern tower straddling a section of the elevated park and a large glass atrium will eventually face the park. All parties involved—Related, Coach, and the city—agreed that the High Line should play a prominent role in Hudson Yards. "We at Related look forward to continuing to work with the city, and the Friends of the High Line to transform segment three, and make it a very special place," said Ross. Bloomberg noted that the city is working with CSX to transfer the final segment of rail to the city.
Relating. Mayor Bloomberg announced today that the Related Companies has been selected to lead the first phase of Hunters Point South on the Queens waterfront. City Room has more on the project which will initially include two new buildings with 900 apartments. Glass Tickets. The Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut will begin selling tickets for 2011 tours on February 15. A variety of tours running from May through November explore the art, architecture, and landscapes at the house. You may also want to check out their weekly curated Glass House Conversations. Comic Architecture. BldgBlog is running an interview with comic artist Mike Mignola, discussing the intriguing buildings, landscapes, and spaces that fill his graphic novels and create distinct moods for his stories. Rogue Signs. Cranston, RI realized last year that 587 "undocumented stop signs" had been installed on its streets by a mysterious, unknown party. Lowering the Bar says the town has finally come up with a solution: legalize them.
With all the ink spilled of late on the Related Companies’ faltering plans to transform the massive Kingsbridge Armory into an equally huge mall, another of the developer’s megaprojects has been lost amidst the protests: Hudson Yards. As Bronx City Council member Joel Rivera has been leading a noisy fight against the armory, demanding a living wage for workers who will someday populate its stores and food courts, speaker Christine Quinn has been more quietly negotiating with Related on adding affordable housing to the western section of the outsiszed development planned for the Far West Side. On Wednesday, Rivera was prepared to lead a vote against Kingsbridge unless the developer met his demands—$10.00 per hour with benefits or $11.50 without—but the vote was cancelled at the last minute when stalled negotiations fired back up. Another vote had been scheduled for this morning, but that, too, was postponed until Monday, the drop-dead deadline for the council to act on either project. As for the Yards, Quinn, in whose district the project lies, has been working more quietly on behalf of her constituents to strike a deal for additional affordable housing—less than 10 percent of the 5,000 units are currently set aside for low- and middle-income families—as well as other sundry issues like schools and infrastructure that were raised when the project was approved by the City Planning Commission in October. “My staff and I have been working closely with Related,” Quinn said during a Wednesday press conference. “The negotiations with Hudson Yards are also ongoing and we expect an announcement when we come to a vote.” Could this also be cause for delay, then, on the Kingsbridge vote, that Related is busy working out two deals? Quinn’s staff declined to say, but council member Tony Avella, who is chair of the Zoning and Franchise Subcommittee that will hold the votes on the Hudson Yards and Kingsbridge projects, said he believes a deal has been reached and Quinn is only waiting until both projects are settled to make an announcement on hers. A city official confirms that negotiations are ongoing for Kingsbridge, but Quinn's people and Related have not returned calls seeking the status of their project. Til Monday...