The massive Hudson Yards development under construction on Manhattan’s West Side has gotten a lot of interest, not the least from developers interested in replicating the project.
What many developers would like to know is whether or not that project is replicable at other rail yard sites in New York City.
Hudson Yards comprises more than 17 million sq ft of building space, 8 million of which is under contract, and is being built over the 10-acre footprint of open Long Island Railroad tracks.
There are several other open rail yards in New York City, including the Atlantic yards in Brooklyn, now under development, and the Sunnyside yards in Queens, which are not being developed. In all, there are about a dozen rail yards in New York outside of Manhattan.
To a developer’s mind that raises the question: Is Hudson Yards a one-off project or a model for future development?
“I hope it is not one off,” Andrew Canto, vice president of development for Related Hudson Yards, one of the companies working on Hudson Yards, said Wednesday at a symposium hosted by law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.
Projects such as Hudson Yards do not require a rail yard; the key component is the density that can provide the demographic mix to support the office space, cultural attractions and residential buildings needed for such a massive project.
In that sense, Hudson Yards could be replicated, but “not all rail yards are the same,” Cantor added. The technology and financing may be replicable, but physically there is not a one-size-fits-all solution, he said.
However, Hilary Spann, a managing director at JPMorgan Asset Management, hastened to add that financing for such complex projects is determined on a case-by-case basis.
JPMorgan provided funding to close the deal for Hudson Yards.
Meanwhile work on the eastern portion of Hudson Yards is due to be completed in stages by 2018, just as the platform over the eastern portion of the yards is completed, Cantor said.