More Far West Side Development News

Published on Jan 31, 2012

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For decades Manhattan turned its back on the Hudson River: access was limited and, frankly, mostly decrepit; development was minimal (with a few notable exceptions, especially downtown, and especially Battery Park City) with real estate barons preferring to grow their goods towards the center of our island.

Which is why the recent rush to fill up the riverfront all up and down the Hudson River with rental apartments, recreational esplanades, cultural centers, as well as mixed-used office and condo complexes is as astonishing as it is welcome, at least for this long-time New Yorker.

There were three bits of Hudson River real estate news that caught my eyes recently, all of which, if perhaps not immediately relevant to seekers of Manhattan rental apartments, are definitely changing the character of many West Side neighborhoods.

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Take the biggest development to hit the river in forever, the massive, suddenly scorching-hot Hudson Yards project, Related's 26-acre Hudson River-front complex between Hell's Kitchen and Chelsea.

Over the past few months there's been a ton of projections, speculations, and dreams about what Hudson Yards might entail, including an arts complex, with both studios and performance spaces large and intimate, for now called the Culture Shed; the extension of both the High Line park and the 7 train into the heart of Hudson Yards community; over 1,200 new Manhattan apartments (at last count) as well as, possibly, in 20 years, more total office space than the entire city of Boston.

Hard to say how it will pan out, but one thing that does seem like a sure bet: restauranteur extraordinaire Danny Meyer will be bring his deft touch and impeccable taste to the proceedings. Recently Related announced a partnership with Meyer, the owner of such New York City (and, now, beyond) icons as Eleven Madison Park, Union Square Cafe, and, of course, the cultishly adored Shake Shack. Danny Meyer and Related's first project together will be a Hudson Yards something, which, if nothing else, lends the neighborhood instant foodie cachet. Stay tuned.

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Also on the West Side, hard by the river... Hudson Square, that once somewhat desolate and definitely industrial-feeling area between Canal and Houston Streets, is these days one of the hottest office- and residential-rental markets in all of Manhattan. Vacancies are low, rents are climbing higher, and services are moving into the neighborhood at an increasingly rapid pace. If you've been thinking of this part of town as "too isolated" for your Manhattan rental apartment, you might want to take another look.

Finally, the first steps are being taken to develop the last open lot of Riverside South, that long stretch of far-west real estate in the 60s that has seen nine huge residential towers go up in the past couple of decades. Bids are due next month for the so-called "Riverside Center", two-block plot of land, on which two 40+-story residences are slated to be built, and which must feature (because of tax incentives) "a public school and day care for 45 children, garages with bike racks and car-charging stations and a retail space that includes an auto sales shop."

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