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New York's Hudson Yards development is largest in U.S. history


New York's Hudson Yards project covers 28 acres on the West Side of Manhattan. It is considered the biggest real estate development in U.S. history, and it is emblematic of the resurgence of New York City's real estate market. It is also a colossal engineering project. It is being developed jointly by Oxford Properties Group and the Related Companies.

The Hudson Yards project is being built on the site of a rail yard that serves Long Island Rail Road trains entering and leaving Penn Station. What is unique about the project is that when it is completed approximately ten years from today, the rail yard will still be there and the trains will continue to run. The entire real estate development is being built on a rooftop over the tracks, supported by giant columns.

The engineering challenges are staggering. Among the challenges facing engineers is the planned construction by Amtrak of a third railroad tunnel under the site. Where the tracks converge near the station entrance there is no room between the tracks for columns, so the engineers have designed a 100-foot long steel truss to support the buildings above.

The project will comprise 20 million square feet of retail space, apartments and office buildings. In order to recover the cost and make a profit, the developers plan to build six tall skyscrapers, arranged around parks and public squares. A 92-story tower will have Time Warner as an anchor tenant.

Large-scale projects like this typically involve a number of complex real estate transactions. Legal counsel must work out the details of due diligence, title issues and financing. Regulatory and court approvals must be secured. As tenants are signed up, lease disputes have to be resolved. Working with a real estate firm with the capability to handle complex, multi-party transactions can ensure the deal gets done right.

Source: Fortune, "NYC's Hudson Yards project will be an entire city - on stilts," Shawn Tully, Sept. 4, 2014

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