Most people probably don't think that Manhattan has any large regions of "un" development, or acres of space to spare. Yet, that is how the city long viewed a 26-acre site on the west side of Midtown.
That changed, however, last month when after years of delays co-developers Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group broke ground on the first of 15 planned structures to be built as part of the Hudson Rail Yards Redevelopment site. The city says the entire site, which is Manhattan's single-largest undeveloped property, will become NYC's largest private development since Rockefeller Center. The site will also be designed with cutting edge sustainability features and offer public space, cultural amenities, high-end retail, residential space and a new public school.
Work on the $842.3-million first tower has swiftly progressed since groundbreaking with the project team already drilling caissons, excavating and working on the retaining wall. This project is expected to employ hordes of construction and industry-related workers, and the entire Hudson Yards Redevelopment is expected to create nearly 23,000 construction jobs in coming years.
But today, with substantial construction already begun on the first tower, the Related and Oxford team has been named ENR New York's 2012 Owner of the Year.
Voted on by the editors of Engineering News-Record's regional magazines, the project won points for several factors. These include the fact that substantial work on the tower began so quickly after groundbreaking; that it will employ many industry workers, reach out to the community with offerings including public space and cultural amenities; that it will be built with sustainability in mind; and that it is one of many other projects to come at the site and in the region from the developers.
The first tower is also the largest project so far (by contract value) on ENR New York's 2012 Top Starts list, for which the editors are still gathering data. If you would like to nominate a project, send an email with Top Starts Nominee in the subject line with the details – including project name and location, contract value and date of ground breaking. Also include your name, company and your phone number. We look forward to hearing from you.
As for Related and Oxford, congratulations!