Hudson Yards: No Wall, but a Great Wealth Divide

The Times's architecture critic discusses how the development is changing the Far West Side, and the city as a whole.

Comments: 21

  1. CBS reported on twitter that the DOB has, one day later, forced the business where the woman was killed by falling plywood to build a sidewalk shed. They were at it before the sun came up. Three pedestrians were killed by drivers in 24 hours this week. Imagine the DOT stepping in and changing the intersections where this happened as quickly.

  2. The builders took major financial risk to create (from nothing) a new neighborhood with schools, parks, affordable housing (15 Hudson Yards) and offices (whose workers pay the taxes to fund everything the government does), yet they’re also to blame for the city’s inability to undertake other large-scale projects? And they’re also to blame for the fact wealthy people/companies want to be in New York (which is now a bad thing)? They may also be responsible for the missing Malaysian airlines plane - Nyt please investigate.

  3. 4.5 billion in taxpayer money. While homeless line every corner.

  4. @Zejee Disingenuous to say $4.5bln and not speak of how much money will be generated from property tax, income tax from jobs created, sales tax etc. And that $4.5bln wasn't an outlay, it was likely credits on taxes to be paid. Would the homeless not be lining every corner if the city didn't provide economic incentives for the development?

  5. They’re not camping in Central Park yet. Not like a recent trip to Santa Rosa, California where any public land has a tent on it. And not for the great outdoors either.

  6. “Days after my colleague Michael Kimmelman had first reported the news of the partition” It’s always weird when anyone pretends they don’t know that the opening bid is something the you go in knowing you won’t get it, and yet the game is to point out how absurd it is. ? It’s like pols like Rep. A.O.C. and Senator Warren know for a fact that a 70% tax rate can’t happen but how else can you bring the other side’s saying 20% to end up with 45%. Tune of “Didn't We Almost Have It All?“ Remember that elitist-sounding plan, A creepy huge partition. That’s the game. It’s just a fake opening position. No way we’d do that. ‘Cause neither side gets what it first requests. “Didn't we almost have a wall?” The answer’s no, and we all knew it. Both sides begin with an absurd extreme. There was like zero chance we’d do it. Didn't we almost have a wall? Heck no, don’t try to misconstrue it. There’s no good faith among the folks that scream: “Didn't we almost have a wall?”

  7. What is it with people and walls these days? The construction of Hudson Yards is about as conspicuous as you can get when it comes to parading one's wealth, so unless a wall was being built to hold back the Hudson River it's hardly necessary. But then again, maybe I'm just fed up with walls because I grew up in Berlin.

  8. The frenetic real estate drive to cater to the wealthy has divided New York and made Manhattan an exclusive enclave for the wealthy-it's no mystery to anyone. It's not our future, it's our present. I was in the new development on an errand and the doorman showed me the 'poor' back door where the subsidized housing (if you wan to call it that) tenants enter unseen and the millionaire's entrance. We then were showed the billionaire's building rising next door. Who's kidding who? It's all a farce. Build a wall. Who needs to see this ugly pile of steel and glass?

  9. @Adam - I hadn't made the connection before what you wrote that this is a real estate way of thinking. Look at what's happened to Broadway and a lot of off-Broadway. This is really hand in hand with that, and if you look, the person quoted actually made his living in real estate first. In 2001 ''We're not selling incidentals,'' [Thomas] Viertel said. ''We're selling access.'' The initiators of premium ticketing had pretty much promised in 2001 that premium would only be the very special seats in the house, at the time 50 at each performance. Now, it seems that every seat downstairs (I guess short of the stalls in the rest room) has potential to be $400 to $900. From that article: "the producers said they were confident that there was a sizable market of people who would pay almost any price to see their show." Applying that concept to theater seats took out breaths away in a bad way in 2001. Now, it's a given, and we've gotten used to theater being elitist, and forgotten that it hadn't been 25 years ago. Regular people could just go see a Broadway show; no thought of maybe I could buy a new sofa for the cost of buying a pair of tickets to a show, LOL. But it took real estate thinking to brings this to theater!

  10. Where are all these wealthy people coming from to fill up these ultra-expensive buildings? There’s crowds at the mall at Hudson Yards but who’s buying? Sooner or later, the middle class will move in because the testosteronal growth at the top is not sustainable. Ghost towns don’t serve anybody.

  11. Those crowds are the people all the commenters are saying are barred from entering. The fact is, no one is being barred from Hudson Yards, regular-looking people of all colors were there the day I visited, and I will never go back precisely because I found the place too crowded and the amplified rap music headache-producing. Maybe when it's finished, the outdoor space will be pleasant.

  12. Hudson Yards, went there once, upon its opening. Meh. Haven't been back since. Been nearby, certainly, but no compulsion whatsoever to enter its grounds. Same thing with WTC, before that Battery Park City. The city's surrender of itself increasingly to the wealthy wouldn't be so bad if the wealthy had any taste.

  13. Yeah, it’s hard to get excited about a mall.

  14. What's that building in the middle of Hudson Yards that looks like an upside down garbage can?

  15. Months ago I decided to never visit that abomination on the Hudson. Why add to the money in the hands on the most rich. Shame in the City for having allowed this site to come to pass. Another reason to not support the Bloomberg candidacy.

  16. If it makes money that supports our municipal and social services, then it's all right by me. We can use it. I was there by accident on opening day. The outdoor space was nothing spectacular, and the atrium was blasting ear-splitting rap music. Not my cup of tea at all.

  17. 4.5 billion in tax payer money. We don’t need another playground for the rich.

  18. Somehow it seems sadly ironic that an article on such "a big symbol of the divide between the haves and have-nots" has a notice about Martin Luther King’s Birthday on the top. Apart from civil rights, Dr. King was adamant about equal rights for all and about increasing economic as well as social inequality. What would Dr. King have made of Hudson Yards? A place that intentionally "turns its back to 10th Avenue" and NYC residents to the east as a "strategy to create an enclave" -- essentially a gated community for the rich. And who, apart from the "developers" do we have to thank for the Hudson Yards "Xanadu Pleasure Dome for the Rich"? Why, of course, it's the "Bloomberg administration, turned over this precious chunk of Manhattan to an exclusive development for private profit." Talk about flouting the legacy of Martin Luther King and all he stood for! Please remember that when being bombarded with the $millions in advertising that the opportunist Bloomberg is buying now, touting his "progressive" nature and vision for the nation as a presidential candidate. Hudson Yards for the USA? That'll make America "great"!

  19. They're doing this to pockets of Chicago and the same battles are being played out. On one hand, it makes decrepit old industrial areas beautiful, livable and profitable but on the other it becomes just another exclusive playground. But those excluded from these playground will find cheaper places to go, which in turn become the next hot areas, because they are more alive and fun.

  20. 'The deal the developers struck with the community board and the city was that it would have lots of public open space, linked with the High Line and the riverfront...' 'But nothing is set in stone. The company still has its own motivations...' a 'deal' is no longer a deal in this country. Get used to it.

  21. Who is going to come to those parks? Ordinary people don’t live there. Housing for working class and middle income people should have been built with NewYork tax payers subsidies