Horror on the Hudson: New York’s $25 bn architectural fiasco
It is a billionaires playground where haircuts cost $800 and high-rise duplexes go for $32 m. So why does the magnificent colossus of Hudson Yards feel so cheap?
‘One thing that’s always been true-life in New York ,” says Dan Doctoroff,” is that if you constructed it, they will come .” He is a reference to Hudson Yards, the $25 bn, 28 -acre, mega-project that he had a critical hand in originating while he was deputy mayor of the city under Michael Bloomberg in the early 2000 s. He can now look down on his co-creation every day from his new office in one of the development’s towers and find hundreds of people climbing up and down Thomas Heatherwick’s Vesselsculpture, like tiny maggots crawling all over a rotting doner kebab.
The first phase of Hudson Yards opened last-place month and people have indeed come- primarily to gawp at how it could have been allowed to happen. On a immense swath of the west side of Manhattan formerly earmarked for New York’s 2012 Olympic bid, a developer has made a private fantasize of angular glass towers stuffed with places and costly accommodations, rising above a seven-storey shopping mall on an endless grey carpet, scattered with small tufts of “park”.
The surprising thing isn’t that such a development has happened. The real shock is that it’s quite far worse. Hudson Yards’ marketing promotion is showered with superlatives: this is the largest and most expensive private real estate project in US history, a situate abounding with “never-before-seen” retail thoughts and “first-of-its-kind” dining ends. It is legislation as the ultimate in everything, a refined playground for discerning urbanites, with stores where you can spend five figures on a wristwatch and $800 on a haircut.