New York (AP) – The tapering, glass platform rises like a kind of beak from the 100th floor of the “30 Hudson Yards” skyscraper. From next year, visitors will be able to look down at a height of 335 meters at Manhattan – or even climb a few meters further up on the top of the skyscraper with seat belts.
After the opening, “The Edge” will be the highest publicly accessible outdoor viewing terrace in the western world, say the clients. The pointed platform is already one of the most spectacular architectural details of the Hudson Yards – a completely new district in New York that will officially open on Friday (March 15).
The district is located on the Hudson River on the west side of Manhattan, roughly level with the Empire State Building near the High Line, which has been transformed into a park. The dimensions are enormous. According to the responsible construction company, this is the largest and most expensive non-public construction project in the history of the USA: Around a dozen new luxury skyscrapers by star architects – some already finished, some under construction, some planned – with expensive apartments and Offices where companies like the investment firm BlackRock or the German software giant SAP have already signed rental contracts.
There is also a luxury hotel, a school, restaurants and a huge shopping center. Visitors can marvel and take photos, residents hardly have to move away for all the needs of everyday life. The completely new art and culture center “The Shed” opens in April. In the middle of the building complex is a park and the walkable work of art “The Vessel”, which consists of 154 different staircases with almost 2500 steps, on which visitors can sit or climb around. “This will be one of the greatest public spaces in New York,” says Mayor Bill de Blasio. “A place that you have to be and that you have to climb, an iconic sight.”
Space is actually a rare and expensive commodity on Manhattan Island. The Hudson Yards was made possible because the tracks leading from Penn Station were roofed over. The idea for this came up after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when Mayor Mike Bloomberg wanted to revive the shocked Manhattan economically. The real estate company Related Companies was awarded the contract for a billion dollars – and around 20 years later, its boss Stephen Ross has realized his vision. Soon he wants to move into a luxury apartment in one of the skyscrapers in his new district.
“Steve is a never-giving optimist,” said former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, who was involved in the negotiations, the “New York Magazine” about Ross. “He just built a new house for himself. He is 78 years old. And he will enjoy it until he can no longer do it. ” The Hudson Yards district is exactly to the taste of New Yorkers, says client Ross. “When you live in New York, you want everything right in front of your nose at all times.” His company advertises Hudson Yards as “city within the city” and “the next hip neighborhood in New York”.
The city of New York has done a lot to make the Hudson Yards a reality – including building a completely new subway station. According to a report in the New York Times, the builder was granted tax rebates totaling six billion dollars.
But many New Yorkers are not enthusiastic – the new district is too sterile, too unauthentic and above all too expensive, and many criticize this at a time when New York urgently needs affordable living space. Hudson Yards is “the fantasy city of a billionaire,” etched the “New York Magazine”. “We have the feeling that we are no longer in New York.”