Revival of Hudson Yards: The Journey from Failure to Success

How Hudson Yards Went From Bust to Boom

The Remarkable Revival of Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards, the $30 billion planned neighborhood that was deserted during the pandemic, has emerged as a success story, particularly in terms of office leasing. This has not only highlighted the vitality of the neighborhood but also underscored the growing disparity between Manhattan’s high-end office buildings and the rest of the office market.

From Bust to Boom: The Hudson Yards Success Story

As the grip of the pandemic loosened, companies with offices in Hudson Yards began calling their employees back to work, injecting new life into the neighborhood. The return to work was more enthusiastically embraced by companies based in Hudson Yards than by others in the city. This is largely because they are primarily law firms and financial firms, which have significantly encouraged a robust in-office presence.

The Secret to Hudson Yards’ Success

The secret to Hudson Yards’ success appears to be the fact that the companies that can afford the neighborhood’s expensive rents are the same ones demanding their employees return to the office. The developers and businesses in Hudson Yards reported that employee attendance is around 80 percent from Monday to Thursday, nearly the same as before the pandemic.

Hudson Yards: A High-end Work Environment

The largest and wealthiest companies are drawn to Hudson Yards because they desire high-end work environments to attract and retain employees. Hudson Yards has the largest cluster of brand new or nearly new high-end offices in New York City.

The Evolution of Hudson Yards

Despite its reputation as a developer-made neighborhood, Hudson Yards is becoming more community-like. Developers have tried to enhance its authenticity by bringing in local shops and restaurants. The residential population of the area nearly doubled to 20,000 residents in 2020 from 2010, according to the census.

From Neiman Marcus to Wells Fargo: The Changing Landscape of Hudson Yards

The original plan for Hudson Yards included a mall anchored by a Neiman Marcus store. However, when Neiman Marcus filed for bankruptcy, the store closed, and the space is now being converted into an office for Wells Fargo. Despite this setback, foot traffic in the mall has almost returned to 2019 levels.

The Expensive Housing Scene in Hudson Yards

Given the city’s overall housing shortage, it’s not surprising that the rental buildings in Hudson Yards are full or nearly full. Most one-bedroom apartments start around $6,000, far above the city’s average.

Critics Now Praising Hudson Yards

Even critics of Hudson Yards have changed their tune. One vocal critic, Brad Lander, now the city comptroller, noted that the buildings in Hudson Yards contributed an extra $200 million a year to the city’s coffers in 2023 and are projected to contribute an extra $300 million this year. While the buildings could contribute more without property tax breaks, developers argue that Hudson Yards would not exist without the city’s assistance and infrastructure upgrades like the 7 Line subway extension from Midtown. This success story of Hudson Yards, despite its initial hurdles, offers a fresh perspective on urban development and resilience in the face of adversity.